Pittsboro, NC – At its 61st annual meeting, the Soil Science Society of North Carolina honored Chatham County’s Richard D. “Rich” Hayes with its Annual Achievement Award, its highest honor.
Hayes graduated from Davis and Elkin College in West Virginia with a BS in biology, ecology and biological science. Afterward, he studied soil science and worked at West Virginia University before moving to North Carolina.
Hayes is now retired from 30 years of service with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, where he worked all over the state, including mapping and analyzing soils in Northampton, Halifax, Anson, Warren, Montgomery, Wake and Chatham counties. His career with the state also included developing soil science guidelines and applications for the Division of Water Resources.
In 2014, the Governor awarded Hayes the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor from the Governor’s Office.
Hayes has a strong dedication to public service and education. He is an active member and past president of the Soil Science Society of North Carolina.. He has worked closely with the North Carolina Envirothon since 1999, which is a natural resource education competition designed to challenge middle and high school students. Hayes also teaches soils related labs, classes and workshops for all ages.
Among his long list of achievements, Hayes has been a Chatham Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Supervisor since 2006. Hayes will help work a booth for the Chatham SWCD at the upcoming county Spring Ag Fest at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center on Saturday, March 24. He and county staff will demonstrate soil loss from various agricultural managements by simulating a rainfall event. Please come out Saturday and visit the SWCD booth to watch the demonstration and for more information about their mission and programs.