Clara Beth Claxon
Improving her Farm by Selling Water Quality Trading Credits
Clara Beth Claxon and her late husband bought their Kentucky cattle farm in 1988. Her land is hilly and water flows right down it.
She participated in the Ohio River Basin Trading Program so that she could afford a heavy-use pad for her cattle. The program, established by the Electric Power Research Institute, AFT, and other partners, allows industries to purchase water quality “credits” from farmers in the watershed. The farmers use the funds from the credits to pay for conservation practices that reduce the amount of fertilizer running off their fields and barnyards.
Before she put in the heavy-use pad, the mud in her farm’s feeding area was so deep her boots would “just about pull off my feet.” The improvement she made keeps the barnyard clean and prevents the manure from washing away.
“It made a great big difference in my farm and in my life,” she says. “You can see the difference in the cattle, how much better they look.”
Photo of Kentucky land by cdaltonrowe/Flickr