Five members of the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission have been sworn-in by Judge Bob Hunter.

Vicky Porter of Concord was reappointed as the governor’s member-at-large and named chairwoman. Donald Heath of Dover and Craig Frazier of Sophia were also reappointed to the commission. Tommy Houser of Vale and Charles Hughes III of Kinston are new members to the commission.

Three members serve as executive members of the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Heath is the association’s president, Houser is the first vice-president and Frazier is the immediate past president. They will serve one-year terms on the commission.

Porter operates a 900-acre farm in Cabarrus County with her husband, Tommy Porter. They raise brood cattle, hogs and chickens. She has served on the commission as member-at-large since 2010 and will continue to serve through 2014. She takes over the position of chairman that was vacated by Manly West. Porter is an elected member of the Cabarrus Soil and Water Conservation District.

Hughes is a contractor from Lenoir County who specializes in grading, construction, landscaping and sidewalk and parking lot design. He will represent the Coastal Plain through 2014. He is an elected member of the Lenoir County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Houser operates a 500 acre vegetable, blueberry and soybean farm, and is co-owner of Dan’s Superette, a local convenience store in Lincoln County. He’s an appointed supervisor, serving 37 years on the Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Soil and Water Conservation Commission is the policy and rule-making board for state soil and water conservation programs.

The commission provides oversight for state conservation programs, and allocates technical and financial assistance to landowners and citizens through the state’s 96 local conservation districts. 

Programs include the North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Community Conservation Assistance Program and the new Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program.

All commission members are appointed by the governor. For more info, go to www.ncagr.gov/sw/swcc