Conservation Client Gateway Available to More Producers than Ever
Conservation Client Gateway, the secure online web application for landowners and land managers, is now available to business entities in addition to individual landowners. So, if your family-owned farming operation is an LLC or another business entity consistent with USDA’s entity categories, you can now access the Conservation Client Gateway. Earlier versions limited access to individual landowners. Conservation Client Gateway gives landowners and land managers the ability to track their payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents online anytime, anywhere. Click here to learn more.
Managing Water Webinar Series
The Irrigation Association is bringing back a popular webinar series where participants hear from industry experts on issues affecting irrigated agriculture and the benefits of water management. Click here to register for these free webinars:
schedule is as follows:
May 18 - “The Plant Something Initiative”;
June 8 - “Agricultural Irrigation in the Mississippi River Basin”;
June 20 - “WaterSense & SWAT – What’s the Difference?”;
June 29 - “Telling a Positive Story about Irrigated Agriculture”;
July 13 - “Water Infrastructure in America – Challenges & Opportunities for Irrigated Agriculture”.
NACD Urban Ag Grant Opportunity
This year, NACD will award grants to 20 urban or suburban districts through this initiative to build technical capacity for agriculture conservation. There was a webinar earlier this month providing guidance for the application process, as well as advice from Muskingum SWCD, one of 42 2016 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant recipients. The deadline for 2017 proposals is May 14. Click here to view the archived webinar and learn more.
Need Photos of Conservation Practices?
USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has
accumulated over 1,500 .
You are free to download and disseminate these photos as part of your
district’s educational outreach efforts. In addition to SARE’s ,
the program also offers educators and producers free, ready-made
PowerPoint presentations on cover crop topics and soil health
illustrations. You can .
Voluntary Conservation Grassroots Advocacy
The National Association of Conservation Districts has created a
new Grassroots Advocacy webpage stocked with information and
templates to help you contact Congress and advocate for issues important
to conservation districts. Right now, it is critical Congress hears
directly from you why Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) funding is
crucial to this country’s conservation delivery system. If CTA were to
be eliminated or severely reduced, it would drastically hinder efforts
to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. For more, click
For more, click details.
Healthy Soils are Full of Life! Materials
NACD is now taking printing requests for Healthy Soils are Full of Life! materials. The stewardship and education materials are now eligible for print-on-demand services from Goetz printing. For more, click healthy soils.
MASCD Hosts Legislative Luncheon
The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) hosted their annual legislative luncheon in conjunction with their winter meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Representatives from all of the 24 soil conservation districts in Maryland were joined by over 60 legislators at this event. Soil conservation districts took this opportunity to highlight the importance of state support for the districts and the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share Program. Legislators from all over the state expressed their understanding of the importance of the technical assistance that the districts provide to farmers, landowners, and the urban community.
Chesapeake Bay District Partners to Accelerate Conservation Adoption
In an effort to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Implementation Plan, the Harford Soil Conservation District (HSCD) has
worked within its community to help meet the 2017 EPA mandated pollution
reduction requirements. Recognizing the need to go beyond traditional
boundaries to address soil and water conservation, the HSCD and Ecotone,
Inc. (Ecotone) have developed a unique public-private partnership to
become a driving force in helping achieve Maryland’s pollutant reduction
This partnership with Ecotone, enacted through a Memorandum of Agreement, has allowed the HSCD to effortlessly explore new funding sources and cost-effectively execute agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) throughout Harford County. “Ecotone’s assistance with grant funding preparation and environmental [BMPs] design & construction has accelerated the restoration efforts to local tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay.” says Bill Tharpe, District Manager.
Leader of US Grains Council Demos Conservation Practices
Chip Councell, a 10th generation farmer from
Talbot County, Maryland, and chairman of the ,
hosted representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture at his
farm last week to demonstrate the value of soil health practices, crop
rotation, nutrient management, voluntary conservation programs, and
Councell, who was named the 2010 cooperator of the year by the Talbot Soil Conservation District, says his success “takes every piece of the puzzle - the conservation plans, the equipment, the biotechnology all put together in the best way to fit the operation."
Excerpt from NACD eResource.
2017 Soil Planners Now Available
The new 2017 Soils Planner titled “Soils Have Memory” is now
available online at the NRCS Soils website. To view, click
Farmers Care About the Bay, Too!
Three of Delmarva’s own national leaders, Lee McDaniel, Chip Bowling and Richard Wilkins, collaborated to share the importance of voluntary conservation in the Chesapeake Bay region through a commentary in the Baltimore Sun. The three boasted that, “the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America, is home to more than 83,000 farms that together generate $10 billion in economic activity each year. For decades, these producers have stepped up all across the watershed, assumed responsibility for their share of the nutrient and sediment pollution in the bay, and worked tirelessly toward unprecedented, remarkable change. Just in the past seven years, the agriculture sector has single-handedly reduced its phosphorus and sediment runoff in the watershed by 50 and 75 percent respectively.” For more, read full story.
MASCD Awarded RCPP Grant
MASCD President Charles Rice joined NRCS Chief Jason Weller, Maryland
Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder, Robert Emerson, Delaware
Association of Conservation Districts and our grant partners on Friday,
February, 12th for the announcement that MASCD has been awarded a 4.5
million RCCP grant.
RCPP draws on local knowledge and networks to fuel conservation
WIP Goals in the Chesapeake Bay brings
together 15 partners to accelerate the installation of conservation
practices to enable Maryland and Delaware farmers to meet the nutrient
and sediment water quality goals set forth in the Chesapeake Bay Total
Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Partners offered an additional $5.4 million
in matching funds, bringing the total value of the project to more than
Pictured: Kasey Taylor, DE NRCS State Conservationist; Lindsay Thompson, MASCD; Charles Rice, MASCD; Jason Weller, Chief, NRCS, Joe Bartenfelder, Secretary MDA; Dr. Terron Hillsman, MD NRCS State Conservationist; Robert Emerson, DACD; Hans Schmidt, Assistant Secretary MDA; Jim Eichhorst, Assistant Secretary MDA.
Maryland Farm and Harvest Episode 112 Explains Bioreactor Working to Filter Nutrient Runoff.
2016 Annual Report Released
MASCD released its 2016 Annual Report. Soil conservation districts and MD farmers can be proud of their conservation accomplishments.
The results of the 2013 Bay
Model progress run have been released. Agriculture is well on its
way to reaching the 2017 TMDL reduction goals for the 2017 progress
report and has already achieved the 2017 goal for sediment
Click here for results.
MASCD Envirothon is a participant in the Maryland Charity Campaign, which allows Maryland state employees and retirees to give to over 700 participating charitable organizations. To help support Maryland high school students strive to learn more about our natural world and compete at county, state, and national levels, click the Maryland Charity Campaign link and enter code 6483, or enter Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Inc. For more Envirothon information, pictures, and past winners, click here. Thank you for your support!