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Lt. Pete Kehoe, U.S. Army, spreads fertilizer on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The Woods family of Byhalia donated more than $3,000 worth of Triple Super Phosphate fertilizer this year for the effort.

A seventh-generation farming family from Byhalia and a Mid-South landscape company teamed up to enrich and preserve the final resting places of America's veterans and bridging the distance with the help of local volunteers.

The 20th annual National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) Arlington National Cemetery Renewal and Remembrance project in the nation's capital has had assistance from local landscape professionals like Kenny Crenshaw, local businessman and president of Herbi-Systems, Inc..

Crenshaw has been a dedicated volunteer going into his 13th year of participation as a "champion" leader."

In 2014, he received the landscape organization's inaugural "Workhorse Award" for his longstanding dedication.

Known for stamping out local weeds, Crenshaw will again supervise 300 volunteers to treat more than 200 acres of the grounds at the historic cemetery in Arlington, Va.

This year, Woods Farm Supply in Byhalia, also a supplier for Herbi-Systems, Inc., has joined the Arlington National Cemetery effort by donating a large gift of fertilizer for the Renewal and Remembrance annual event. The whole crew from Woods Farm Supply in Byhalia gathered recently to oversee the loading and shipping of a warehouse load of fertilizer headed for Arlington National Cemetery.

"It's the least we can do," said Pat Woods, whose family has been farming in the Byhalia area for generations. "We believe in free trade, freedom of religion and the other freedoms we have. The heroes buried at Arlington are the ones who gave us those freedoms."

Woods said farmers held a small ceremony in which an American flag was draped across each pallet shipped to Arlington through a national truck line.

"It gave everyone goosebumps," added Woods.

He estimated the value of the donated fertilizer to be about $3,000.

"Kenny (Crenshaw) was looking for a special type of fertilizer that they couldn't find in Virginia," Woods said. "It's something that we had in our plant and I said if we could get somebody to ship it, that we would give it to them. It was special for us to be able to do that."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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