In March 5 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
“I’m surprised and don't have the words,” said Bascum Smith. “When I came on this board in 1959, I never dreamed I'd be at this meeting.”
Bascum Smith came out to the Russell County Soil Conservation Board meeting on Monday and thought he would be presented with an award for his 50 years of service.
He was greeted with a banquet in his honor, a service award from his fellow board members and five other local, state and federal awards for his decades of dedication to using natural resources wisely.
A lifelong agriculturalist, Smith raised registered Angus cattle on his Russell County farm but he has also served as a leader in the community.
This year marks 50 years that Smith has served as chairman of the Russell County Soil Conservation Board.
Surrounded by family, friends, and co-workers, Smith sat quietly listening to presenters read accolades to his wisdom and guidance in natural resource conservation over the years.
"I greatly admire and respect the example you have set for others, including myself through your life of integrity, hard work and service to others," said Jeffrey Hoover in a letter to Smith.
Hoover was unable to attend the award banquet but sent a citation adopted by the Kentucky House of Representatives in his honor.
"Folks like (Bascum Smith) provide a link between the past and present," said Thomas A. Perrin, Kentucky State Conservationist in a letter of gratitude. "This is a very important link since we need to remember where we came from to appreciate where we are now."
Smith accepted the awards with humility and gratitude to those who serve with him.
"I've enjoyed being associated with many good people on this board and we have a great board now," said Smith. "It's a pleasure to look back and see all the improvements that have been made over the years."
Among other awards presented were a citation from the Kentucky State Senate, an Honor Award from the KY Assoc. of Conservation Districts, a certificate of appreciation from the US Dept. of Agriculture, and a certificate of recognition from the Russell County Fiscal Court.