Delta Region winner Ray Makamson, a veteran of 38 years of farming, produces 3,050 acres of cotton and 700 acres of soybean on his farming operation near Itta Bena, which is located in the middle of the Mississippi Delta.

Observers say Makamson’s attention to detail in conservation practices is evident in the appearance of his farming operation. “The one thing that strikes you is Ray’s meticulous nature,” Trey Cooke, executive director of Delta Wildlife, told Delta Farm Press’ Elton Robinson.

“He is probably the most esthetically-astute farmer that I’m aware of in the Delta. His shop is clean. The grass is clipped, there are no piles of containers or irrigation pipe lying around. If you were to ever want to take somebody to a farming operation to see one of the best actors in the farming community, Ray’s farm would be one you want them to see.”

“Ray runs one of the cleanest operations of almost anyone I know,” said Jerry Singleton, area Extension agent, LeFlore County. “From the shop floor to his equipment, it always clean.”

“My shop, my equipment, my tractors, that’s all the money that I’ve banked through the years,” Makamson explains. “I’m invested in it. The people who work for me take pride in it, too. We take good care of things. I like things neat and orderly.”

Makamson’s conservation efforts mesh perfectly with his forward-looking style.

As a member of Delta Wildlife, Makamson participated in the Monsanto Mississippi River Partnership Project, created to determine the effectiveness of conservation measures on improving wildlife habitat and water quality. He installed numerous water control structures for use in reducing nutrient and sediment loss from his cropland to benefit water quality in adjacent water bodies.