Bill Mast, owner of Mast Farm along the Yakima River in Benton City, is a humble, life-long conservationist. He was awarded the “Wildlife Steward of the Year” award by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD), during their annual conference in Kennewick this week.
Bill Mast describes his goal for his farm that it be “economically viable and still have some wild left in it, having some natural processes occur that benefit wildlife and fisheries.” He raises beef cattle, strawberries and native plants on his farm. He actively manages his property to protect riparian vegetation, provide cavity nesting boxes for wood ducks, maintain milkweed for traveling monarchs, and habitat for wildlife. Bill also founded Wildlands Inc, a regional leader in native plant propagation and environmental restoration.
Bill graciously opens his farm to school field trips with Benton Conservation District to teach students about both agriculture and nature.
The WACD presented Bill with a reflective sign to post on his property, recognizing him as the 2017 Wildlife Steward of the Year. The Wildlife Steward of the Year program is a cooperative effort between the WACD, the Washington State Conservation Commission, and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.