West Virginia farm wins conservation award


MCMECHEN, W.Va. — In May, the DJ&M Farm, owned and operated by Dennis, Michelle, and Jarrett Blake, was chosen as Conservation Farm of the Year for Marshall County.

They then went on to win the Northern Panhandle Conservation District Farm of the Year Award, competing against conservation farm winners Larry Reed from Hancock County and Jeff Nickoles from Brooke County.

In August, the DJ &M farm placed second in the Area II competition against farms from the Upper Ohio Conservation District, West Fork Conservation District, Little Kanawha Conservation District and the Western Conservation District.

The DJ&M Farm consists of 181 acres of pasture and woodland in Marshall County. The Blake family has 18 beef cow/calf pairs.


The family is very active in the community. Dennis is a member of the Marshall County Farm Bureau, and the Northern Panhandle Stockman’s Association and is employed by Marshall County Schools and Knights Farm Supply.

Michelle also works at Knights Farm Supply as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Jarrett is an active 4-H member and is president of his local 4-H club. He has been part of the Marshall County Livestock Club for 10 years and is an avid market lamb and hog showman at the Marshall County Fair.

He is a recent graduate of John Marshall High School and is employed at Knights Farm Supply.

The Blake family is active in the Oak Grove Methodist Church, where Dennis serves on the parsonage committee, Michelle on the finance committee and Jarrett is in the youth group.


Dennis, Michelle, and Jarrett have proven themselves as stewards of the land by working hard to restore the farm to working condition. They have installed many conservation practices such as nutrient management, prescribed grazing, exclusion fencing, pasture division fence, a critical area planting, three spring developments, pipelines and three watering facilities.

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