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 1-5, 2019

Level II – April 29-May 3, 2019

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

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

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Register Now for the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting

The 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation District and PA Agency Staff Meeting will be held March 11, 2019, at the Degenstein Theater at Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. The target audience for this meeting is staff from PA state agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and conservation districts.

Topics include County WIP planning, PA Department of Environmental Protection program updates, conservation district project spotlights, the PA Ag Conservation Stewardship Program and more!

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to the snow date (March 13, 2019). Registrants will be notified via email 24 hours in advance if the meeting is postponed.

Click here for the full agenda and to register. The deadline to register is February 25.

This meeting is sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection with administrative assistance from PACD.

Please contact Amy Brown at with questions.

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Register Now for Respect in the Workplace: 2019 Director Training

Recent news coverage of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has left many wondering what they can do to ensure that their organizations are prepared to handle these kinds of issues when they arise.

In addition to matters of legal compliance and liability, understanding how to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination is important in maintaining a respectful organizational culture that allows all team members to thrive professionally. District organizational culture can affect staff recruitment, retention, and team cohesiveness, as well as community and partner relations. Effective policies are a crucial requirement for harassment-free workplaces, but focusing on the board’s role in communicating and modeling respect and appreciation for diversity is also vitally important for your district.

Respect in the Workplace, our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training Program, features an interactive workshop facilitated by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting.

The program will include topics such as:

  • Understanding workplace diversity and inclusion issues
  • Defining discrimination & harassment
  • “What if” scenarios
  • Effective policy & training authorization documents
  • Steps to create awareness and lessen liability

All conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to attend. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.

Please click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10am – 3pm):

Tuesday, March 5 – Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, Wilkes-Barre
Wednesday, March 6 – Ramada Conference Center, State College
Wednesday, March 13 – Cross Creek Resort, Titusville
Thursday, March 14 – West Meeting Center, West Elizabeth
Thursday, March 21 – Woodcrest Retreat Center, Ephrata

Help us spread the word and please encourage your fellow directors to participate. Contact Matt Miller with questions.

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Thank You to All the Farm Show Volunteers!

Thank you to all the PA Farm Show volunteers for giving their time to promote the work conservation districts are doing throughout the state!

Nick Biondi and Brittany Smith from Lancaster County Conservation District staff the Farm Show booth on Sunday, January 6, 2019.

The following districts staffed the conservation district booth at the PA Farm Show:

  • Berks
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Schuylkill
  • Union

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Visit the Conservation District Booth at the PA Farm Show!

Conservation district booth at the PA Farm Show.

The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January 5–12, 2019 in Harrisburg and will honor agriculture’s rich heritage and promising future with this year’s theme, Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story. Visit the Conservation District booth (co-located with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) in the GIANT Exposition Hall.

Click here to read more about the event.

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PACD Welcomes Visitors during Holiday Open House

Druckenmiller, Goshorn, McDonnell, and Shambaugh
Pictured left to right are Berks County Conservation District Manager Dean Druckenmiller, Cumberland County Conservation District Manager Carl Goshorn, Secretary of Environmental Protection Patrick McDonnell, and PACD Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh.

On December 18, 2018, PACD held a holiday open house at the new office location in Harrisburg. Over 25 people stopped by to tour the new office and share holiday cheer. Special thanks to our members and partners who stopped by to see us: Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell and External Affairs Director Katie Hetherington Cunfer; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Denise Coleman and Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships Susan Marquart; State Conservation Commission’s Executive Secretary Karl Brown and Executive Assistant Barb Buckingham; Cumberland County Conservation District Manager Carl Goshorn; Berks County Conservation District Manager Dean Druckenmiller; and Dauphin County Conservation District Manager Eric Naguski.

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2019 Staff Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the Building for Tomorrow 2019 Staff Conference. 

When: February 27 & 28, 2019 
Where: Genetti Hotel & Suites in Williamsport. 
Who: Conservation District staff, including all technicians, administrative staff, and community educators are encouraged to attend.

The 2019 Staff Conference will focus on themes such as engagement, communication, outreach, and respect.  Sessions will be fun and inspirational as well as informative, and attendees will return to their districts with renewed energy, appreciation, and commitment to the important work they do in their communities.

For more information and to register, click here.


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PACD Receives $451,000 from DCNR for Buffer Grant Program

Districts are encouraged to identify priority areas for multi-functional buffers in anticipation of applying for these sub-grants

The Wolf Administration today announced close to $1 million in grant investments to five recipients throughout Pennsylvania for planting trees and income-producing species along streams. Stream buffers help keep nutrients and sediments from the land from impacting water quality.

All projects include multi-functional buffers. They contain species such as nut trees, berries, and willows in buffer zones so that the landowner can sell these products and realize some income from land dedicated to buffers.

PACD is the largest grant recipient at $451,000. This funding will support conservation districts in constructing approximately 85 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways throughout Pennsylvania. This sub-grant program will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to complete demonstration projects statewide, in partnership with local conservation districts. Each buffer will be designed for the needs of the watershed and interests of the landowner, resulting in a diversity of harvested products.

Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres by 2025.

For more information on PACD’s Multi-functional Riparian Buffer Sub-Grant for Conservation Districts, contact PACD Program Manager Amy Brown at or (717) 238-7223 x104.

Click here to read the entire press release.

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