Register for the 2021 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting

The 2021 Virtual Conservation District and PA Agency Ag Meeting will be held via Zoom March 16-17, 2021. Staff from PA state agencies, USDA-NRCS, and conservation district agricultural technicians, watershed specialists, and management are invited to attend. Registration is free and required.

Formerly known as the All Bay Meeting, this annual meeting has been expanded to include sessions that are relevant to conservation districts across the state, as well as more focused sessions for conservation districts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The draft agenda includes topics such as agency updates, getting the most out of PracticeKeeper, a review of the Integrated Water Quality Report and mapping tools, local rapid stream delisting strategies, and other timely and relevant sessions.

Click here for more information and to register. 

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Farmer Focus Groups: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Photo courtesy of USDA-NRCS.

PACD seeks input from farmers and agricultural landowners from the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay/Susquehanna River Watershed about the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) on the afternoons of January 26 and 28, 2021. Farmers can participate in these discussions whether or not you have enrolled land in this program.

Please share this information with your farmer contacts in the Bay Watershed.

Farmers who have CURRENTLY or PREVIOUSLY enrolled some of their land in the CREP program, please register for the focus group on January 26 from 5 to 7 pm:

https://bit.ly/pacd-cb-1

Farmers who have NEVER enrolled any of their land in the CREP program, please register for the focus group on January 28 from 5 to 7 pm:

https://bit.ly/pacd-cb-2

Note: Conservation district staff, directors, and associate directors are not eligible to participate.

Questions? Contact PACD Director of Communications & Education Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

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‘Briefing on the Bay’ Held during 2020 PA Farm Show

The state Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee and the state Chesapeake Bay Commission Delegation held a discussion on January 8, 2020, on Pennsylvania’s efforts to curb Chesapeake Bay pollution. PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the session which was held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

Individuals offering comments included: Ann P. Swanson, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission; Secretary Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Karl Brown, Executive Secretary, Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission; David Graybill, Board Member, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau; and Bill Chain, Senior Agriculture Program Manager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

A recording of the hearing is posted on the Committee website at https://environmental.pasenategop.com/010820/.

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Conservation District Representatives Join Farmers on the Bay

Clinton County Conservation District’s Agricultural Resource Conservationist Lisa Blazure holds a crab on the Chesapeake Bay trip. Photo provided by CCCD.

PACD Program Manager Amy Brown recently joined Pennsylvania farmers, members of the PA No-Till Alliance, staff from Clinton County Conservation District, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) on a trip to Port Isobel Island. The group of 27 spent the weekend on the Bay. CBF hosted the weekend so farmers can appreciate the Bay and share thoughts with local watermen about the similarities of their heritages and livelihoods.

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All Bay Meeting Moving to New Location

Please save the date for the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting. The meeting will be held March 11, 2019 (snow date March 13). The meeting will be held at a new location: Susquehanna University’s Degenstein Center Theater in Selinsgrove, PA. Staff from PA state agencies, USDA-NRCS, conservation districts, and other organizations working within the Chesapeake Bay are invited to attend.

The meeting is sponsored annually by the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

Questions? Contact Amy Salansky at asalansky@pacd.org.

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Four Pennsylvania Farms Receive Clean Water Farm Award

(Left to right) PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh, PA Department of
Agriculture Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety Gregory Hostetter, PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, award recipient Kelly Smith, award recipient Will Smith, PACD President Charles Duritsa, and PACD North Central Region Director Dr. Robert Shannon.

PACD, in conjunction with the award sponsor, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), presented the operators of four farms with the Clean Water Farm Award during its annual conference on July 18, 2018 in Lancaster, PA. The honor is awarded annually to farmers who manage their daily farm operations in an environmentally conscious manner that helps to protect Pennsylvania’s water quality.

DEP has sponsored this award for the past thirty-two years. Recipients receive a certificate signed by the DEP Secretary and a large Clean Water Farm Award sign to erect on their property.

The 2018 Clean Water Farm Award Recipients are:

  • Ed Chianese (Susquehanna County)
  • Justin and Doreen Geisinger Air Hill Acres Farm (Franklin County)
  • Will & Kelly Smith, Deep Roots Valley Farm (Berks County)
  • Dave Pounds (Indiana County)

The Clean Water Farm award was initiated in 1986. Recipients of the award are nominated by their local county conservation districts. Financial support for this award is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program and the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.).

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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Annual Bay Staff Meeting Held at Bucknell University

Over 160 attendees traveled to Lewisburg for the annual Bay staff meeting. Photo by Brenda Shambaugh.

The Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting was held March 12, 2018 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.

Over 160 staff from conservation districts and partner agencies attended the meeting. Topics included program updates, innovative projects, and positive landowner interaction.

The event is facilitated by PACD with financial support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund, and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

 

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Statewide Clean Water Farm Award Nominations Due April 30

The Clean Water Farm Award Program recognizes Pennsylvania farmers whose exemplary farm management practices result in improved local and downstream water quality. Pennsylvania’s conservation districts may submit a nomination for a farm in their county. One award will be given in each of PACD’s six regions.

Each district that submits a complete nomination will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 pizza party for their office! Deadline: April 30, 2018.

Award recipients receive a large Clean Water Farm Award sign to hang at their farm, a signed certificate, and an invitation to the PACD/SCC Awards Luncheon in July.

Financial support for this award is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program and the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.).

Click here to read more. 

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New Grant Round: Manure Management and Chapter 102 Compliance Seminars/Plan Writing Sessions

$99,000 in Mini-grant Funds Available for Conservation Districts

Through a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), each Pennsylvania conservation district is eligible for a mini-grant (up to $1,500 initially per district) to hold local Manure Management Manual and/or Agricultural Erosion & Sedimentation Plan workshops. These sessions would assist farmers in understanding compliance requirements and lead to development of a complete manure management plan and/or agricultural erosion & sedimentation plan.

Applications will be approved on an ongoing basis. Applicants should hear back within a week if their project is okay or if it needs fine tuning. These are non-competitive grants — we have $1,500 earmarked for each district. Grants pay for eligible expenses on a reimbursement basis.

The mini-grant application and guidelines are available here. The deadline to apply is January 26, 2018. Mini-grant activities must be completed, and final reports must be submitted, by May 25, 2018. No extensions will be granted. Contact Shannon Wehinger with questions.

Three free trainings on the Manure Management Manual will be held this winter. These “train the trainer” events are for new conservation district staff or those who attended this training in previous years and want a refresher. Click here or see the article below for more information. 

Financial support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant, the Clean Water Fund, and the Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program (CBRAP).

 

 

 

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