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Conewago creek initiative farmer outreach

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Conewago creek initiative farmer outreach

  1. 1. THE CONEWAGO CREEK INITIATIVE Lessons learned from farmer outreach in PA’s Showcase Watershed Matt Royer Director, Agriculture & Environment Center Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences (814) 863-8756, mroyer@psu.edu
  2. 2. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Resource Restoration Co. Capital Area RC&D Chesapeake Bay Foundation Chesapeake Commons Dauphin County Conservation District Elizabethtown Area Water Authority Elizabethtown College Lancaster County Conservation District LandStudies, Inc. Lebanon County Conservation District Londonderry Township Lower Dauphin High School Milton Hershey School PA DEP Penn State Public Media Penn State University Red Barn Consulting RGS Associates South Londonderry Township Stroud Water Research Center Susquehanna River Basin Commission Tetra Tech Tri-County Conewago Creek Association USDA Agriculture Research Service USDA NRCS US Fish and Wildlife Service US Geologic Survey Viable Industries, LLC Wild Resources, Inc. ZedX, Inc. Conewago Creek Initiative The Partnership
  3. 3. Conewago Creek Initiative Organizational Structure Project Advisory Team (PAT) Stewardship Development Team BMP Team Non Ag Team Envt’l Markets Team Monitoring Team Staff support provided by Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center • Project Coordinator (M. Royer) • Assistant Project Coordinator (K. Kyler) • Student Interns
  4. 4. Practices People Impact Place Conewago Initiative Our Approach
  5. 5. Conewago Creek Initiative Ag Outreach Strategy • What were our goals? • What were our approaches? • What were our results? • What were some lessons learned?
  6. 6. Conewago Creek Initiative Ag Outreach Strategy • Meet our farmers: A Conewago Creek Story
  7. 7. Conewago Creek Initiative Ag Outreach Goals • Reach every farmer • Achieve 100% baseline compliance with PA ag laws • Accelerate adoption of BMPs • Offer innovative BMPs through Penn State Research and Extension
  8. 8. Conewago Creek Initiative Ag Outreach Approaches • Partnership approach (CCDs, NRCS, DEP, Extension, watershed group: BMP Team) • Identify farm community champions early • Letter, farmer meetings • Conservation District Survey
  9. 9. Conewago Creek Initiative Farm Survey • Allowed CCDs to build relationships • Identified proactive farmers ready to adopt BMPs • Identified conservation priorities • Over 90% farmer participation
  10. 10. Conewago Creek Initiative Farm Survey: Priorities for TA • Priority 1: Farmers who requested TA • Priority 2: Farmers who lacked conservation plans – Priority 2A: Those with resource concerns • Priority 3: Farmers who lacked nutrient or manure management plans • Priority 4: All other farmers
  11. 11. Conewago Creek Initiative Farm Survey: Approaches • Provide flexibility for conservation planning (CCDs, private sector vouchers) • Provide program choices (EQIP, CREP, Section 319, NFWF) • Find farmers willing to try “innovative BMPs” (i.e., manure injection) • Create a “watershed” community (annual Winter Farmers Meeting, field days and tours)
  12. 12. Conewago Creek Initiative Ag Outreach Results Conservation Planning
  13. 13. Conewago Initiative Ag Outreach Results • 10,742 acres (cover crops, conservation tillage, forest riparian buffers etc) • 105,308 linear feet (or 20 miles) (fencing, terraces and stream bank restoration, etc) • 60 additional BMPs (stream crossings, waste storage facilities, off stream watering facilities, etc) BMP Implementation
  14. 14. Conewago Initiative Ag Outreach Results 0 2000 4000 6000 Fencing (ft/yr) Before Initiative Since Initiative BMP Implementation Rates
  15. 15. Conewago Creek Initiative Lessons Learned • Farmers are willing stewards of our land and water resources • Involve the community early in the process • Build trust and relationships • Develop structured partnership • Provide flexibility to meet landowner needs
  16. 16. Visit us on the web at: www.conewagoinitiative.net Watch A Conewago Story at: www.conewagoinitiative.net Funding for the Conewago Creek Initiative provided by: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, and our many Initiative partners

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