History of the District
Franklin County became the Tar River Soil Conservation District on January 4, 1938. Guidelines for becoming a district were provided under the provision of Soil Conservation District's Law of North Carolina, General Statutes 139, passed in 1937. The Tar River Soil Conservation District was the third district organized under provisions of the District Law in North Carolina.
Interest in organizing a Soil Conservation District began in September of 1937 when the civic clubs and farm organizations in Granville County met and began work on organizing a soil conservation district. The group had observed and cooperated with the local Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Camp in soil conservation work and wished to assure themselves of further assistance.
A petition to the State Soil Conservation Committee was presented requesting assistance in organizing a soil conservation district for all of Granville County. This petition was later revised by the group to include all the headwaters of the Tar River, this area being parts of Person, Granville, Franklin and Vance Counties. The petition was approved by the State Soil and water Commission following public hearings and a favorable referendum of the land occupiers within the district.
Organizations which assisted in organizing the Tar River Soil Conservation District were the Grange, Kiwanis Club of Oxford, Rotary Club of Oxford, Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Farm Security Administration (currently Farm Service Agency) personnel and the North Carolina Agriculture Extension Service.
The Tar River Soil Conservation District was divided into single county districts of the Board of Supervisors under provisions of Section 139-14 of the District's Law. About this time the General Assembly of North Carolina amended the District's Law to add the word "water" to the name. Thus, the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District was created on March 27, 1961 to include all of Franklin County and to have the same boundaries as the county. It was felt by the Board of Supervisors, that a smaller county unit would be more efficient in developing and implementing a soil and water conservation program that the four county soil conservation district.
The district's educational programs have remained consistent throughout the year. The Franklin SWCD has made every effort to improve upon its educational programs and to insure that each program is used to benefit the people of Franklin County and to promote wise conservation to the fullest extent possible. The District continues to stress the importance of installing conservation measures to preserve the soil and insure good water quality. The District acquired a position from North Carolina Agricultural Cost Share Program in 1991.
The District now employs a full time Administrative Specialist, one full time Resource Conservationist, as well as one full time NC Ag. Cost Share Specialist. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service also has one District Conservationist and one Soil Conservationist on duty in the county.
Franklin SWCD and USDA NRCS personnel currently assigned to the district are:
- William Byrum, NRCS District Conservationist
- Cindy Phelps, District Administrative Specialist
- Charles Bass, NC Ag. Cost Share Program Specialist
- Quinton Cooper, District Resource Conservationist
- Louise Hart, District Watershed Technician
Franklin SWCD moved to its present location in October 1992. Soil erosion and the resulting sediment in our streams were major concerns of the founders of the District and the technical agency of USDA NRCS. Today, the District's purpose is still to conserve our soil, water and related natural resources.