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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Registration Opens for CREP Workshops in the Delaware River Basin

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (hosted by PACD) is hosting a series of workshops in the Delaware River Basin (DRB). The purpose of the workshops is to ensure CREP partners, associates, and district staff understand the program and to introduce CREP to landowners and producers. The workshops are focused on introducing CREP in the seven PA DRB counties; however, they are open to partners and producers outside those counties.

CREP Partners and Associates Workshop
Attendees will leave with a basic understanding of CREP, including eligibility, benefits, and responsibilities. They will be able to respond to inquiries about CREP, direct potential applicants to the proper agencies, and identify producers and sites that may be eligible for CREP. Click the link below for more information or to register.

CREP Landowner/Producer Workshops

These workshops are open to all landowners who would like to learn about CREP and see if it is a good fit for their situation. Farmers can register online or by calling the Montgomery or Monroe Conservation District offices. See the links below for more information, district contacts, or to register online.

Please feel free to share this information with interested contacts and partners, and to invite any producers in the DRB who may be interested in the CREP program. Contact Terry Fisher at PACD with any questions or for additional information at 717-238-7223 or tfisher@pacd.org.

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Potter and McKean County Conservation Districts Clean Up Allegheny

Pictured left to right are: Chad Rugh, April Castano, Jen Haskins, Casey Boyer, Scott Wennerstrom, Jan Brown, Bob Volkmar, Jared Dickerson, Tom Manning, Frank Weeks, Janie Weeks, and Dave Bressan. Not Pictured: Heather McKean and children.

By Jason Childs, Potter County Conservation District Manager

On Wednesday July 26, 2017, a volunteer crew cleaned up the Allegheny River from Burtville to Port Allegany. Lots of junk and litter was collected making our river a better place to paddle.

Many thanks to our partners: McKean County Conservation District, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Pennsoil RC & D, Liberty Township, Potter County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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Tioga County Conservation District Holds Bridge Demo

Photo provided by Tioga County Conservation District.

On July 26, 2017 Tioga County Conservation District held a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Bridge Demo Day at Salt Spring Road in Liberty to educate local Municipalities on how to construct a GRS Bridge.

The Salt Spring Road project includes the replacement of two double pipe structures in close proximity to one another. Both structures created complete barriers to aquatic organism passage (AOP), including native brook trout. By removing the two structures and constructing GRS Bridges, approximately 11 miles of stream will be open to AOP, connecting the entire main stem of Salt Spring Run.

Funding for this project was provided through the Penn State Dirt and Gravel/Low Volume Road Program, Liberty Township, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

 

 

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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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Poster Contest Winners Announced

Hanna Winslow’s winning poster in the fourth through sixth grade category.

PACD is pleased to announce the five state level winners of the National Association of Conservation Districts 2017 “Healthy Soils are Full of Life!” poster contest.

The winners in each age category are:

K – 1st Grade: Elijah Ritter, Delaware County
2nd – 3rd Grade: Shreeya Ilayanambi, Delaware County
4th – 6th Grade: Hanna Winslow, Berks County
7th – 9th Grade: Hailey Keperling, Berks County
10th – 12th Grade: Anna Rihan, Delaware County

To promote the idea that healthy soil affects many aspects of life, students from kindergarten through twelfth grades entered posters conveying their thoughts and ideas through original artwork. Submissions were judged based on the entry’s conservation message, visual effectiveness, originality, and universal appeal.

PACD thanks all of the participants in the contest for their interest and dedication to conservation. Best wishes to the state level winners in the upcoming national judging competition. Click here for images of the winning posters.

Click here for more information about the NACD poster contest. 

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Montgomery County Conservation District Holds Interseeding Demonstration Field Day

Farmers and agency folks alike learn about the benefits of cover crops and interseeding from Andrew Frankenfield (in blue) with Penn State Extension during the Montgomery County Conservation District’s field day. Photo provided by Montgomery County Conservation District.

On July 17th, the Montgomery County Conservation District, in conjunction with Penn State Extension, held a cover crop interseeding demonstration field day. The demonstration was held on the Frankenfield farm in Franconia.

This event showcased a new no-till drill that the Montgomery County Conservation District purchased through an NRCS Conservation Innovation grant.

Click here to read more. 

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Berks County Conservation District Collects Over 2,500 Tires

The Berks County event was a huge success with over 60 appointments to collect over 2,500 tires of varying sizes. Photo provided by Berks County Conservation District.

On Friday June 30, 2017 the Berks County Conservation District partnered with the Berks County Department of Agriculture, the Berks County Solid Waste Authority, PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the Berks County Probation Office to collect tires to eliminate mosquito habitats and clean up the environment.

The event was free to Berks County residents and was held at the Berks County Agricultural Center. The collection was a huge success with over 60 appointments to collect over 2,500 tires of varying sizes.

Executive Director Dean Druckenmiller stated, “We’re certainly hoping that the federal money we received recently to help eliminate mosquito habitats this year will be replicated again and again, so that we can make this an annual event for county residents to rely on.”

 

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New Slate of Officers Elected at 70th Joint Annual Conference

New PACD President Charles Duritsa presents outgoing President Glenn Seidel with a plaque during the PACD Executive Council.

During the PACD Executive Council meeting on Thursday, July 13, new officers were elected.

They are:

  • President – Charles Duritsa
  • 1st Vice President – Mike Price
  • 2nd Vice President – Donald Koontz

Please welcome these board members to their new positions!

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