Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Penn State Extension - Farm Conservation Success Story Series: First Stop Westmoreland County - John Kitz's Mount Pleasant Farm

The latest
Penn State Extension Ag Conservation Currents newsletter features the latest information on farm conservation.

BMP Success Stories

Across the Pennsylvania landscape, the implementation of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) provides a critical opportunity for fostering environmental stewardship and supporting Pennsylvanian agriculture. 

To highlight how implementing these practices have provided benefits to farmers, communities, and local landscapes, the Center for Agricultural Conservation Assistance Training (CACAT) at Penn State Extension will be highlighting stories of BMPs across the Commonwealth. 

Join us on a journey through the innovations of agricultural practices, where profitable production and sustainability converge to shape the future of farming.

Have a story to share?  Email Genevieve Christ, Extension Educator,  with your local Conservation Success Story

Westmoreland County

Our first stop on this journey is in Westmoreland County.                                  

-- Funding Source: Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP)

-- Partners: Westmoreland County Conservation District and State Conservation Commission

-- Resource Concerns being addressed: erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient loading

-- Practices installed: streambank fencing, a stabilized cattle crossing, streambank stabilization, a water trough, stabilized animal heavy use area, subsurface drainage, a livestock watering ramp, subdivision fencing, and a riparian buffer with approximately 385 trees and shrubs.

Kitz Farm Profile

John Kitz, who recently received the 2023 Conservation Farmer of the Year Award from the Westmoreland Conservation District, is now the first farmer in the county to receive funding from the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program, or ACAP. 

Conservation improvements on John Kitz’s Mount Pleasant farm include fencing along streambanks, a stabilized cattle crossing, streambank stabilization, a water trough, stabilized animal heavy use area, subsurface drainage, a livestock watering ramp, subdivision fencing, and a riparian buffer with approximately 385 trees and shrubs. 

Approximately 2,400 feet of stream was improved.

Click Here for before and after photos of farm conservation improvements on the Kitz Farm.

ACAP was created through the Clean Streams Fund to reduce nonpoint source pollution in Pennsylvania’s waterways. 

It provides funding and technical assistance for the implementation of best management practices on agricultural lands. 

Funding for the program is provided through local conservation districts. 

If you have questions about the ACAP program in Westmoreland County, contact Chelsea Gross, Non-point Source Manager.

Farm E&S Planning Resources

In Pennsylvania, the area of agricultural land disturbance determines if a farm needs an Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (Ag E&S Plan). Learn more about why these are important, if your farm needs a plan, and available resources.

Click Here to learn more.

NRCS Cover Crop Program

In the first round of applications, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) received enough interest from Pennsylvania farmers to allocate all $15 million of ACT NOW cover crop funds across the Commonwealth.

Click Here to learn more.

Sign-Ups For Ag Literacy Week

Ag conservation professionals are encouraged to participate in this year's Ag Literacy Week by volunteering to read "Anywhere Farm" by Phyllis Root at a local elementary classroom through your local county conservation district.

Click Here to learn more.

Other Articles

-- ACAP Program Bidding Requirements & Resources

-- ACAP Administrative Training Slides Now Posted

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

-- February 19: Climate Change Projections For PA, Conservation Practices To Help Farmers Cope Webinar, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

-- February 26: Climate Smart Ag Mitigation & Spotlight On Conservation Practices Webinar, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

-- March 4: Monitoring Soil Moisture - A Climate Smart Ag Practice Webinar, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

-- March 11: Streambank Stabilization & Stream Crossings On Farms Webinar, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

-- March 12 & 14: Virtual Crops Conference Virtual Seminar, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Click Here to read the entire Ag Conservation Currents newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy (bottom of page).

Visit the Penn State Extension website for more information on a variety of other education opportunities.

Related Article:

-- Save The Dates: Forest Health In-Person Briefing, March 12; Virtual Forest Health Briefing, March 14; Forest Snapshot; More! [PaEN]

[Posted: January 24, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner