Dairy cows are Everett Williams’ life. Whether he’s cutting hay, reusing water or finding more ways to make his dairy viable and environmentally friendly, his work circles around his family farm near Madison, Ga., and the cows that walk into the milking barn three times a day.

He was honored for his environmentally friendly farming practices at Georgia Agriculture Day in Atlanta, where Gov. Nathan Deal announced Williams and his wife Carol of WDairy LLC as the 2011 Governor's Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Award state winner.

The state winner is chosen from five district winners. The other district winners were Will Harris of White Oaks Pastures in Early County, Andy Futch of R&A Orchards in Gilmer County, Cecil Stafford of Blueberry Hill near Ludowici and Jeff Herrin of L.L. Herrin Family Farm near Cornelia.

“The farms are all great, great places,” Carol Williams said, “and to just pick one would be so hard. Winning this award is a great honor.”

The Georgia Center for Innovation in Agribusiness coordinates the award and its judging. Nominees are chosen based on their farms’ environmental benefits, voluntary compliance to environmental measures, leadership and economic viability.

“These farmers are good environmentalists,” said Donnie Smith, the center’s director and the agriculture liaison to the governor, “and that’s what we want to showcase. We want to show the practices they are using and share their stories with the state as they help make their farms better for future generations.”