Registration Opens for the 17th Annual Watershed Specialist Meeting

Reflections by Kelly Williams, Clearfield County Conservation District Watershed Specialist and winner of the 2016 CD Watershed Specialist Photo Contest

Registration is now open for the 17th Annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting. Highlights from this year’s agenda include:

  • Sessions on topics including social media, the PracticeKeeper watershed module, lake habitat improvement, and urban stormwater management
  • The annual watershed specialist project showcase, featuring presentations about unique projects from fellow watershed specialists
  • Regional breakouts with watershed specialists and watershed managers to discuss regional issues and opportunities
  • An optional field tour that includes three projects in the Tangascootack Creek watershed and a wetlands mitigation site tour

The meeting will be held October 4-6, 2017. Registration for this meeting is open to conservation district watershed specialists and invited guests only. The deadline to register is Friday, September 22. Click here for more information and to register for the meeting. Please contact Molly Burns at with any questions.

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PACD Staff Attends NACD Northeast Regional Meeting

Molly Burns at the Bread and Butter Farm, the first stop on the National Association of Conservation District Employees’ tour on August 13.

PACD Executive Assistant & Meeting Planner Molly Burns recently attended the 2017 National Association of Conservation District’s (NACD) Northeast Regional Meeting, August 13-15 in Burlington, Vermont. When asked what she found most valuable, Molly said “Learning about districts in other states – our similarities and differences – is an eye-opening experience. I hope that our members all take advantage of having the regional meeting so close to home next year. There is so much we can learn from each other.”

During the meeting, Molly gained valuable contacts and hands-on information to help coordinate the 2018 NACD Northeast Regional Meeting, which will take place in combination with the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference, July 15-18, 2018, at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel in Lancaster, PA.

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Conservation Districts Host Booth at Ag Progress Days

Rob Shannon (right) and Joe Dietrick staff the conservation district booth at Ag Progress Days on August 17.

Ag Progress Days at Penn State was held August 15-17, 2017. PACD organized a booth for conservation districts to speak with attendees.

Several volunteers made the booth possible: Ann Donovan (Centre), Eric Naguski (Dauphin), Eric Ernst (Union), Shanon Burkland Stamm (Union), Abbe Hamilton (Huntingdon), Pierce Wilson (Fayette), Joe Dietrick (Westmoreland), and Rob Shannon (Centre). Thank you for your time and for helping to make the booth a success!

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Shambaugh Provides Testimony during Ag Progress Days

Brenda Shambaugh testifies in front of (left to right) Rick Ebert, PA Farm Bureau President, Congressman G.T. Thompson, Congressman Dwight Evans, and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding on the state of agriculture in Pennsylvania.

As is their custom, the Pennsylvania House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees held a joint informational meeting on August 16, 2017 at Ag Progress Days. The session covered the state’s contributions to the multi-state effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay. The second hearing was organized by Congressman Thompson and addressed the state of agriculture in Pennsylvania in front of a panel consisting of the PA Farm Bureau President, two congressmen, and the Secretary of Agriculture. 

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh provided testimony during these two sessions. Click here to read the text of Shambaugh’s testimony titled, “Conservation District Activities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed” and here for “Barnyard Discussion: Issues Driving the State of Pennsylvania Agriculture.”

Click here to read more about the meeting. 


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Save the Date! PA to Host NACD Northeast Region Meeting in 2018

Mark your calendars for July 15-18, 2018, because the 2018 National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Northeast Regional Meeting is coming to Pennsylvania! The meeting will be held in conjunction with the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel in Lancaster, PA. Look to future editions of Front Page for more information.

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Soil Health Tour of Hershey Farms

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Soil Scientist Joe Kraft shows the group the soil from a cover crop field.

During the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference, a soil health tour was held. The group visited Hershey Farms in Elizabethtown, PA. The farm is owned by Jim Hershey, President of the No-Till Alliance of Pennsylvania.

The tour was led by Joe Kraft, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Soil Scientist. Joe highlighted cover cropping, interseeding, and no-till as methods to encourage and maintain soil health.   

PACD and the SCC would like to extend special thanks to Jim Hershey and NRCS for making this tour possible.

Click here to see photos of the tour. 


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Newly Misled Game Show Results

Contestants play the Newly Misled Game during the Hospitality Suite.

During the Hospitality Suite at the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference, several brave individuals participated in a new PACD game show, the “Newly Misled Game.” Friends paired up to see how well they knew each other.

Congratulations to Karen Books and Fred Fiscus for winning the game.

Thanks to Allegheny, Armstrong, Susquehanna, and York Counties for providing the snacks for our hospitality suite!

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Ag Progress Days 2017: Volunteers Needed

Please consider volunteering for the conservation district exhibit at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, August 15-17, 2017.

The annual event is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, PA, and features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.

About 60% of the 45,000 expected to attend are actively engaged in agriculture or related activities. With so many farming families from across Pennsylvania at this event, it’s a great opportunity to call attention to the work and programs done at the districts.

Volunteers are needed for the shifts listed below. Send your name and contact information to or call 717-238-7223 with questions or to schedule your shift.

Tuesday Aug. 15: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (1 volunteer needed)
Tuesday Aug. 15: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Wednesday Aug. 16: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)
Thursday Aug. 17: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (2 volunteers needed)

A final volunteer schedule, parking passes, and other show information will be sent to volunteers before the event. For more information on Ag Progress Days go to their website at

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