Conservation District Booth Enjoys Another Successful Farm Show Week

Brady Seeley, Cumberland County Conservation District Chesapeake Bay Technician, staffs the conservation district booth during the 2018 Farm Show in Harrisburg.

The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show concluded on January 13, 2018, in Harrisburg, PA. Many thanks to the conservation districts who staffed the booth and brought their own unique exhibits to the Farm Show.

They are:

  • Berks
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Perry
  • Schuylkill
  • York

Thank you so much to the many volunteers who made the booth a success!

 

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Agricultural Conservation Technical “Boot Camp” Training Application Period Opens

Photo by Holly Hunt.

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic level and Level II). Conservation district staff are encouraged to take advantage of these free, week-long training opportunities which include both classroom learning and experience in the field.

Basic Level – April 2-6, 2018

Level II – April 23-27, 2018

If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted. Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org.

These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.

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The Dirt on Urban Agriculture in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

From nacdnet.org

By Jessica Buck, Montgomery County Conservation District Agricultural Conservation Specialist

Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD) recently launched their first outreach and technical assistance program to farms and gardens in urban communities through NACD’s 2017 Urban Agriculture Conservation grant program.

This opportunity helped to establish long-lasting partnerships among community organizations and yielded meaningful outcomes to help two target locations of this project: Norristown and Pottstown.

A highlight of this project was the distribution of composting bins and rain barrels to urban gardens, including several school gardens. These two conservation measures also served as educational tools to teach the garden users about soil and water conservation and stormwater management.

Click here to read more. 

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Manure Management Train-The-Trainer Workshops

Register Now. Time is running out to register for one of the Manure Management Manual Train-the-Trainer Workshops coming up in January 2018. You will learn how to use the Manure Management Manual to write plans and how to train others to use the manual. Techniques for conducting plan-writing workshops to help farmers develop their manure management plans are also covered.

PACD and the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) host these workshops for conservation district, DEP, Penn State Extension, and other agency staff members involved in helping agricultural producers write manure management plans. Both new and experienced staff are invited to attend. The workshops are free and lunch will be provided.

Go to the PACD Events tab at www.PACD.org or click on the link below for more information or to register. Dates and Locations are:

January 23, 2018 DCNR Bureau of Forestry Office, Clarion, Clarion County, PA
Click here for more information or to register for this workshop

January 25, 2018 Penn State Extension Building, New Bloomfield, Perry County, PA
Click here for more information or to register for this workshop

January 30, 2018 PA Department of Ag – Region 3 Office, Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, PA
Click here for more information or to register for this workshop

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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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Pat Sueck Honored in York County

(left to right) York County Conservation District Manager Mark Kimmel, Pat Sueck, and PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh pose as Pat receives a PACD certificate of appreciation for over 20 years of dedicated service to Pennsylvania’s Conservation Districts.

On December 8, 2017, legislators, conservation district directors, associate directors, staff, and friends honored Patricia Sueck for her dedication to conservation districts.

PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh attended the event and presented Pat with a certificate of appreciation. Pat served as director for the York County Conservation District and represented Pennsylvania with the National Association of Conservation Districts as a member of PACD’s board.

Pat was the first female president in PACD’s history. She served from 1997-1999.

We wish Pat well in her retirement. We will miss her enthusiasm, her passion for politics, and her involvement in our national association.

 

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Somerset Conservation District Holds Barron Project Field Day

Project construction takes place with the Somerset County stream improvement project. Photo by Lenny Lichvar. Used with permission.

On Wednesday October 11, 2017 Somerset Conservation District (SCD) held the Barron Project Field Day. The Barron Project consists of many stream corridor improvements and agricultural best management practices.

The Barron Project is located along Mountain View Road in Jefferson Township. Keith Barron is the farm operator. The project extends approximately 2200 linear feet along Laurel Hill Creek and approximately 660 linear feet along an unnamed tributary.

During the field day, J. B. Harrold, Grazing Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, gave a detailed demonstration on several ways to provide water to livestock on rotationally grazed pastures. During the tour, the group was able to view photographs of the project site prior to construction.

The field day also included a riparian buffer tour. During the tour, SCD Watershed Specialist Greg Shustrick discussed the condition of the streambed and banks prior to the project. Large sections of stream bank had exposed soil, sloughing banks, and a mudladen stream bed, all of which were created by tree removal and mismanaged grazing practices. Shustrick talked about the species of trees and shrubs that were planted and how they are suited for the riparian setting, due to being able to withstand wet conditions, and eventually will provide shade for the stream.

Click here to read more about the project.

 

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Clearfield Awarded DCNR Grant

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently awarded $1.1 million to regional organizations for a variety of recreational and conservation projects.

The money, from DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, is part of $44 million awarded for a total of 266 projects throughout the state.

Clearfield County Conservation District received $50,000 for construction of approximately eight acres of riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Upper West Branch Susquehanna Watershed.

Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings, and post-planting establishment and other related site improvements.

Click here to read the entire article. 

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Over $9.6 million in Growing Greener Grants Awarded to 25 Conservation Districts

Governor Tom Wolf announced that 106 projects to clean up local waters statewide, benefiting hundreds of communities, have been selected to receive funding through the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Growing Greener program.

Twenty-five conservation districts and PACD were among the recipients. They are:

Outside the Chesapeake Bay

  • Armstrong County Conservation District, Pine Run stream restoration, $59,889; Agricultural best management practices to reduce sediment and nutrient loads to Spra Run, $110,096
  • Berks County Conservation District, County agricultural best management practices implementation, $231,486

  • Bucks County Conservation District, Dimple Creek Watershed water chestnut management project, $95,385
  • Carbon County Conservation District, Nesquehoning Creek stabilization phase 3, $215,000

  • Crawford County Conservation District, Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost Share Program, $263,343; Little Sugar Creek streambank stabilization, $79,368
  • Greene County Conservation District, Browns Creek stabilization/best management practice implementation, $207,484
  • Indiana County Conservation District, McKee Run streambank stabilization, $20,494
  • Jefferson County Conservation District, Pine Run agricultural best management practices implementation, $486,580
  • Mercer County Conservation District, Elder Run streambank stabilization, $40,247; Sandy Creek Watershed conservation project, $209,000
  • Washington County Conservation District, Covered Bridge Meadow agricultural best management practices, $36,683
  • Westmoreland County Conservation District, Murrysville stormwater basin retrofits, $64,620; Vandergrift CBD stormwater management phase 2, $5,000

In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

  • Berks County Conservation District, Creekside Stables erosion best management practices, $50,033; Dennis Bross Farm best management practices, $306,551
  • Cambria County Conservation District, Glendale Lake shoreline stabilization project phase 5, $167,618; Northern Cambria flood control restoration project phase 2, $29,838
  • Centre County Conservation District, Reducing pollution loads from Centre County farms, $702,147
  • Cumberland County Conservation District, Agricultural best management practices, $289,813
  • Cambria County Conservation District, Cherry Tree flood control restoration phase 2, $70,701
  • Juniata County Conservation District, Lost Creek restoration phase 2, $116,028
  • Luzerne County Conservation District, 2016 Agricultural best management practice projects, $318,000; Nescopeck Creek Watershed restoration efforts, $140,000 
  • Lycoming County Conservation District, Agricultural and streambank best management practices, $214,984
  • Montour County Conservation District, Chillisquaque Creek/Limestone Run restoration, $746,713
  • Potter County Conservation District, Potter County streambank stabilization, $20,050
  • Schuylkill Conservation District, Good Spring Creek floodplain restoration phase 1, $230,000; Swatara Creek floodplain restoration phase 1, $2,991,000
  • Snyder County Conservation District, Snook barnyard improvement – lower lot, $163,840
  • Susquehanna County Conservation District, Countywide spring developments, $71,808; Priority watershed spring developments, $32,651; Meshoppen Watershed barnyards, $38,328; Tunkhannock Creek Watershed barnyards, $170,000; Wyalusing Watershed barnyards, $180,000
  • Tioga County Conservation District, Marsh Creek Watershed improvement, $60,389

  • Wyoming County Conservation District, Freeman Farm manure and wastewater handling and storage, $134,650

Multi-County

  • Armstrong Conservation District, Excitation emission matrix analysis water quality testing in Armstrong and Indiana Counties, $7,839

  • Columbia County Conservation District, Multicounty soil health project, $409,465

  • Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, CREP Outreach Program Office, $382,355

Click here to read more. 

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