Massa Farm selected 2017 White County Soil Conservation District Farm Conservationist of the Year
By Kim Swindell Wood | February 5, 2018 6:25 am
The Massa farm is a very beautiful property located between Burgess Falls and Center Hill Lake. Its beauty has been compared to the Smoky Mountains. On the rolling fields of grass, alongside the wooded acres of trees, there is a wide variety of wildlife native to the area. Hundreds of arrowheads and Indian artifacts have been found on the farm, certainly due to its prime habitat location. Rides on the tractor with their dad and helping their mother raise a vegetable garden and canning and freezing the vegetables for the winter are some of the children’s fondest memories.
The farm has been in the family for more than three generations. It was purchased by Frank and Mollie Massa in the early 1900’s. Frank’s son, Willard, and his wife, Marie, took great pride in raising their children, Joe, Darrell, Mollie, and Jesse, on the farm. They instilled in their children the love and care of the land that maintained their way of life.
With the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the White County Soil Conservation Service, the Massa farm has seen many improvements. This included cropland conversion on all row crop fields to fescue, orchardgrass, and clover. As a result of pasture establishment, the main spring on the farm was developed, and a pumping plant was installed to provide water for livestock using freeze-proof automatic waterers. Exclusion fencing was built to protect wildlife and enhance timber production. The main livestock pasture was subdivided into four paddocks to enable rotational grazing.
A special thank you to Tim and Laurel Dunn, Dillon and Sarah, and Billy and Roger Dunn for their outstanding contributions of their time to the Massa Farm. The Massas continue to develop their farm as wildlife and conservation of natural resources as a priority for agricultural sustainability. The Massa children agreed that they have learned the value of hard work and the pioneer spirit from their parents and that farm life can be unpredictable with lots of sacrifices, but it has all been worth it.
The White County Soil Conservation District is honored to have this family as our Conservationist of the Year.