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.
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.
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.
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.”
During the PACD Executive Council meeting on Thursday, July 13, new officers were elected.
- President – Charles Duritsa
- 1st Vice President – Mike Price
- 2nd Vice President – Donald Koontz
Please welcome these board members to their new positions!
The annual PACD/SCC awards luncheon took place July 12, 2017 at the Red Lion Hotel, Harrisburg, PA.
Among those recognized were:
- Legislator Leadership Award: Representative Martin Causer (McKean County)
- President’s Award: Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture
- Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director Excellence Award: Samuel Worley (Franklin County)
- Conservation District Employee Excellence Award: Robert Sweitzer (Centre County)
- Conservation District Employee Service Recognition Program Awards
- 40 Years of Service: Jacquelyn Rouse, Manager, Sullivan County
- 35 Years of Service: Gerald Heistand, Business Manager, Lancaster County; Bob McDonald, Conservation Technician, Mercer County
- 30 Years of Service: Mark Flaharty, Senior Ag Resource Conservationist, York County; Susan Moon, Assistant Manager, Somerset County; Sandy Thompson, Manager, McKean County; Deborah Wilson, Manager, Jefferson County
PACD in conjunction with the award sponsor, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), presented the operators of five farms with the Clean Water Farm Award during its annual conference on July 12, 2017 in Harrisburg, 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-one years. Recipients receive a certificate signed by the DEP Secretary and a large Clean Water Farm Award sign to erect on their property.
The 2017 Clean Water Farm Award Recipients are:
- Billy Porter (Armstrong County)
- BAD Farm (Berks County)
- Mark & Beth Steck of Green Valley Farm (Franklin County)
- Claude Bennett (Susquehanna County)
- Luke & Julie Hess (Tioga County)
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.
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!
Attending the PACD/SCC Joint Annual Conference, but didn’t sign up for the soil health tour? It’s not too late! Stop by conference registration to purchase your ticket. The tour will take place on July 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10/person which includes bus transportation, the tour, and bottled water.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Health Scientist Joe Kraft will demonstrate how the farm’s practices affect the soil as participants tour beautiful Hershey Farms. Owned and operated by Jim Hershey, President of the No-Till Alliance of Pennsylvania, the farm uses cover cropping, interseeding, and no-till methods to encourage and maintain soil health.