Press Releases

Harnett Students Gain Conservation Career Inspiration at Resource Conservation Workshop

Friday, July 7, 2023

The Harnett County Soil and Water Conservation District shared the below press release:

Joining over 30 other students from across the State, two Harnett County high school students attended the 58th annual Resource Conservation Workshop in Raleigh June 25-30, 2023.  Students were selected by their local Soil and Water Conservation District Boards based on their involvement and interest in natural resources conservation with hopes that the camp would further inspire them to pursue careers in conserving our farms, protecting forestland, wildlife and water resources.  The weeklong camp based on the campus of North Carolina State University also allowed students to gain experience in college life being housed on campus in dorms and learning to navigate campus to utilize multiple classroom and labs.

Students attending from Harnett included:

  • Claire Ennis, Triton High School
  • Noah Womack, Harnett Central High School

The Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District provided sponsorship for the students to attend.  “Our farmland, forestland, wildlife and water resources are under great pressure due to the rapid rate of growth that Harnett County is experiencing, so the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District was excited to support our local students in building their knowledge to manage the natural resources challenges our County is certain to face now and into the future.  These students are our future agriculture professionals and conservationists that can make a positive difference within our local communities,” said Gerald Temple, Chair of the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District Board.

During the course of the week both classroom and hands-on lab instruction, in addition to outdoor learning experiences were presented by resource professionals including conservationists, scientists, foresters, biologists, wetland specialists, wildlife experts and engineers.  Each session was geared towards increasing the students’ knowledge of the science involved in natural resources management in addition to providing an insight into future educational and career paths related to natural resources conservation and agriculture.

When asked about her experience, Claire Ennis a rising Senior from Triton High School shared that "Thanks to the Harnett County Soil and Water Conservation District, I was able to learn about how natural resources plays many parts in our lives and how many careers are available. Resource Conservation Workshop helped me to decide what I want to do when I get out of college! I met so many great people and made so many lifelong friends! This was the best week of my life!"

During the week, students were engaged in hands-on learning activities at multiple study sights including N.C. State University Campus and the University’s Lake Wheeler Road Research Farm, Clemmons Educational State Forest, and Falls Lake State Recreation Area where they gained firsthand field experience in managing aquatic resources, forestry, soils, water quality, and wildlife.  On the last day of the weeklong experience, students were tested on their knowledge of conservation practices.  Claire Ennis placed 3rd highest on the written test of all workshop participants and Noah Womack was on the team awarded 1st place by a panel of judges for their conservation plan developed to provide solutions to real world farm conservation needs.

The annual Resource Conservation Workshop is a 58-year-old commitment by multiple organizations and agencies to ensure that today’s generation of learners see the connection between the health of our natural resources and the future success of our Nation.  Hugh Hammond Bennett, the Father of Soil and Water Conservation, once said “take care of the land and the land will take care of you.”  Instructors represented agencies including N.C. State University, N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, N.C. Forest Service, multiple Soil and Water Conservation Districts, U.S. Department of Agricultural Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The workshop is sponsored and organized by the N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation, the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Hugh Hammond Bennett Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society and N.C. State University’s Soil Science Department.  Soil and Water Conservation District Boards provide local sponsorships for student attendees.  For more information about the Resource Conservation Workshop or other conservation education opportunities conducted by the Harnett Soil and Water Conservation District call 910-893-7584 or email Lynn Lambert at 


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