The Pickens Soil and Water Conservation District is a sub-division of state government charged with meeting fundamental land, water and related natural resource problems at the local level.

The Board of Commissioners, consisting of three positions elected during the General Election and two appointed by the SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Board.  Working with local land owners, the conservation district coordinates the mixture of technical assistance and available cost sharing as well as providing information and the education necessary to encourage good stewardship of our environment.  The conservation district has the support of the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and SCDNR in achieving this mission.

BANKS RECEIVES OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AWARD

Michael W. Banks of Anderson, District Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, was recently named recipient of a ‘15 over 50’ Outstanding Leadership Award presented by the Anderson INDEPENDENT MAIL.

The INDEPENDENT MAIL recognized 15 individuals in the upstate area who are 50 years of age or older and who have experienced success in their professional careers, are active in philanthropic and community service organizations, and are helping shape young leaders of the future.

Banks, a native of Chester and a 1977 graduate of Clemson University with a BS degree in Agricultural Economics, has served as District Conservationist in Anderson County since 1994. He has been named the Outstanding District Conservationist in South Carolina twice by the State Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service during this time. He has also received the Honorary State FFA Degree by the SC FFA Association.

A dynamic leader in conservation, Banks serves as the professional advisor to the Anderson Soil & Water Conservation District and to the land owners and users in Anderson County. He also serves as a member of Clemson University’s Advisory Committee on Soils and Sustainable Crop Systems and is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Anderson County Extension Service. He regularly assists agricultural educators with FFA soil judging competitions at the local, regional and state levels. A respected mentor to student trainees preparing for a career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he is a successful trainer of new conservationists employed by the agency.

Among his many long-term impacts in the community, Banks is widely recognized for his assistance to the Anderson Soil & Water Conservation District and Anderson County in the design, layout and construction aspects of the William A. Floyd Amphitheater. The outdoor facility is among the largest in South Carolina and can seat 15,000 people.

Banks was nominated for the ‘15 over 50’ Outstanding Leadership Award by John W. Parris of Columbia, retired Executive Director of the former SC Land Resources Commission, presently serving as director of the SC Agri-News Service.