A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Nathan Dewing, Agricultural Team Leader, BCCD
Early each year the Bradford County Conservation District’s agriculture committee holds a strategy session. We consider how we are accomplishing our mission and reconnect with WHY we do what we do. Our mission (from an agricultural perspective) is to engage farmers and consumers to manage resources wisely. When we ask ourselves why, the answers sum up something like this – “because the small decisions we can impact today, turn into foundations for generations.” We use words like this and others like - planning ahead, lasting, sparking curiosity, and coming alive, to describe the process we go through in understanding the natural system. Learning to make wise use of natural resources like soil, water, air, sunlight, plants and wildlife can again shift a farmer’s perspective from work to worthy enterprise, and a consumer’s perspective from food to health.
This year’s strategy session included conservation district directors, staff, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Penn State Cooperative Extension. Conservation district directors are volunteer leaders who understand local natural resources. Conservation districts develop a staff to expand the capability of local land users. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and Penn State Cooperative Extension develop technologies and understanding to deliver to land managers. It is an amazing team and there are many others who are part of it too. But ultimately it is the people making daily management decisions about land-use that make the difference.
Here are the highlights of how the conservation district sees its role in Agriculture for 2020 and beyond.
Conservation Planning remains our number one focus. Helping land managers make sound decisions about how they interact with carbon, critters, crops and consumers, is where we can add the greatest value. Conservation planning can help you improve nutrient cycling and water holding capacity in your soil. It can help you increase diversity, making your production system more resilient when encountering extremes. It can help you produce more with the labor and resources you have available. If you would like to see some of these improvements on your operation, a call to the conservation district will be a good start.
Good plans attract resources to implement them. We hang our hat on this! If you develop a conservation plan, we will also help to our utmost find any resource available to put it to work for you.
2020 will bring a renewed water quality awareness to Bradford County. For decades Pennsylvanians have worked to intentionally improve the quality of water in our wells, streams and rivers. In 2019 Pennsylvania launched a new phase of watershed improvement and Bradford County residents, communities, and businesses are being asked to help. The conservation district will have a role in providing input and perspective to our community and Pennsylvania this year. We will be working to engage every Bradford County resident who enjoys clean water.
We will continue to partner with you to manage land and resources for maximum production and health. The way forward may not be easy, but neither does it have to be complicated. We are glad to be going there with you.
The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely. You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District