New Round of CREP Mini-grants Now Accepting Applications

moneyclipartPACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $2,500 to implement educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment and/or CREP maintenance. Due to limited funds, only 5-10 projects will be funded this round.

The deadline to apply is August 19, 2016. Click here for the guidelines.

The application for the new CREP mini-grant program for conservation districts is posted here.

Questions should be directed to Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

DEP left-rgb Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.
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Allegheny, Blair, Lycoming & Montgomery Counties Receive Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants

NACD_Logo_LargerThe National Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, has awarded $2 million in grants to 42 conservation districts in 25 states to boost technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture and conservation projects.

The 2016 grants will help urban farmers, community gardens, and other local agricultural partnerships implement conservation practices that support local food production, provide opportunities for education and stewardship, and protect natural resources.

Congratulations to Allegheny, Blair, Lycoming and Montgomery County Conservation Districts on their grant awards! Click here for the full list of recipients.

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Berks Holds CREP Maintenance Workshop

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

Berks County Conservation District hosted a CREP maintenance workshop on June 18, 2016 at a farm in Wernersville, PA. Mena Hautau, Penn State Extension, shared her knowledge of invasive weeds and weed identification. In the above photo, Mena is highlighting garlic mustard, which was found growing in the CREP buffer site along with several other invasive weeds.

DEP left-rgb Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.
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Farm Bureau Holds Annual Tour in Wayne County

Submitted by Heidi Ferber, Nutrient Management Specialist, Wayne County Conservation District

The annual PA Farm Bureau Tour stopped at the Brian Smith Farm. Photo provided by Wayne Conservation District.

The annual PA Farm Bureau Tour stopped at the Brian Smith Farm. Photo provided by Wayne Conservation District.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau held their annual farm tour in Wayne County this year. The tour brings together Farm Bureau members, PA Department of Environmental Protection personnel, and staff from conservation districts. The group visited the farm of Brian Smith, Bill Bryant’s Highland Farm, and the Calkins Creamery.

Brian Smith’s farm suffered an incredible tragedy a few years ago when he lost his barn to a fire. The farm has changed its management style with the barn rebuild and features a bedded pack system. Conservation measures include no-till corn, cover cropping, rotational grazing, milkhouse waste water system, and stabilized lanes. The bedded pack is incorporated twice a day and cleaned and rebedded twice a year.

Bill Bryant’s Highland Farm is a 6th generation family farm. The farm signed on as a conservation district cooperator in 1962 and has completed an amazing amount of conservation practices. They rotationally graze the dairy cows, have a watering system, stabilized laneways, streambank fencing, heavy use area protection, no-till cropping, and cover crops. Daughter Emily started the Calkins Creamery and it has become very successful. The cheese is sold at the farm, in local stores, at farmers markets, and shipped nationwide. In honor of Bill’s late son, there is an annual 5K race – Herd the Curd – that runs all over the farm pastures and fields.

Highland Farm participated in the Four County Interseeder Demo this past June. His interseeded cover crop is germinating in less than one week. There will be a Corn Trials Field Day on September 14th and all are welcome to attend.

Lunch was held at the historic Calkins Grange and prepared by the Calkins 4-H Clubs. This building is completely original and the Articles of Incorporation still hang on the wall over 100 years later.

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