Kentucky Conservation Success Stories


Conservation Showcase

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Mark Walden with Grow Appalachia

Food Security Project in Appalachia Gets Reinforcements from USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative

April 2014

With the USDA StrikeForce Initiative and programs like EQIP, NRCS is partnering with Grow Appalachia to reach even more people in communities where persistent poverty keeps fresh food off the dinner table. 

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Shadowen Family

Better Quality Beef Starts with Improving the Quality of the Land

April 2014

Jake and Jondra Shadowen bought their farm in Benton, Kentucky when they married and wasted no time getting started on making improvements.  Now CSP is helping them grow their operation.

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Webster Family on their farm in Pendleton County

USDA Helps Kentucky Farmer Restore Land after Returning from 20 Years of Military Service

March 2014

Restoring the family farm after serving in the military is a challenge but with the help of USDA, the Webster Family is enjoying spending their free time investing in their land.

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Larry King Veteran Farmer

Investing in Veterans through the Family Farm

March 2014

Larry left the family farm to serve in the United States Air Force but now he's back and using the land to help other veterans get a fresh start on the farm.

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Brad Steverson feeding cattle.

Farming Through the Winter Freeze

February 2014

Believe it or not, many people think farmers get to take some time off during the winter, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  For livestock farmers like Brad Steverson, winter months bring significant challenges.  When the weather turns cold, food, water and shelter for his 80 head of Angus cattle are his main concerns.

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AJ Shaw and his cousin Mark Putman - Deer Season 2014

Wetland Restoration Makes Hunting Even Better at Ducks and Bucks Outfitters

February 2014

Mark Putman and his cousin AJ Shaw had a great hunting season this year thanks to the newly restored wetland. 

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Estes Family from Rock View Farm

Rock View Farm Brings Fresh Produce to Caldwell County

January 2014

Tony Estes grew up working on his grandfather’s farm in Daviess County Kentucky and it was during this time that he developed the love of farming. He and his family now run the Rock View Farm and thanks to their new seasonal high tunnel they have expanded their operation.

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Billboard - Garrard County

Dedication on the Local Level Leads to Success for Water Quality

January 2014

When the Lincoln County Conservation District started a project nearly ten years ago in the Hanging Fork Watershed – they had no idea that the project would still be going strong today with $460,000 in grant funding to encourage local residents to get involved with improving water quality.

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JR Boulden

Kentucky Farmer Wins National Award

December 2013

The National Organization of Professional Black Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees (NOPBNRCSE) held their 2013 Outreach and Agricultural Education Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, December 6th-8th. Kentucky's own J.R. Boulden was honored for his conservation efforts.

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Copes sign near the American Chestnut Seed Lot

How One Couple's Passion for the American Chestnut Tree Inspired Them to Act

October 2013

James Cope said he got his strong love of the land from his mother who told him, "Once you get a piece of land, don't ever let it go." He and his wife are part of the American Chestnut research project.

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Adams Family Seasonal High Tunnel

Farming is an Adams Family Tradition

August 2013

Tracy Adams grew up on the family farm with her brother Clint and their parents Eddie and Sandra Voils. When Tracy married Chris Adams 24 years ago, they joined in on the family farming operation.

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Beth Tillery preparing flower vase.

How One Eastern Kentucky Farmer is Making Seasonal High Tunnels Work for Her

August 2013


When Beth and Doug Tillery married, purchased and moved to Doug’s Jackson County family dairy, tobacco and swine operation in 1978, it came as a bit of a shock when they received their first milk check and it wouldn’t even cover the cost of the feed bill. They realized early on if they were going to survive, something had to change.


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Hughes Brothers with equipment

2013 No-Till and Prescribed Grazing Hero Awards

August 2013

Read about the conservation accomplishments of the 2013 No-till and Prescribed Grazing Heroes.

no-till tobacco setter_Jon Anderson

Improving Water Quality, Soil Health, and Wildlife Habitat One Tobacco Field at a Time

July 2013

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) have been working together for many years to encourage farmers to implement conservation practices that have benefits to land, water and wildlife. The partnership grew even stronger two years ago when Altria Group (owner of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., and John Middleton) awarded a grant through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to the KDFWR.


Barrow Family

Barrow Farms in Logan County

July 2013

Conservation of our natural resources is not a one year or short term endeavor. The Barrow family exhibits a true example of the long term vision and commitment of conservation minded farmers.


Purple Coneflower Blackeyed Susans on Larry Burton Farm

Pollinator Habitat in Kentucky

June 2013

June is a time when pollinator habitats are in full bloom. You can create a pollinator habitat as well using a variety of native plants to attract pollinators. See what other Kentucky landowners are doing to improve pollinator habitats, attract wildlife and improve the landscape of their farms.


Mercer County Senior High School Class of 2024 - Arbor Day Event

Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebrates the Class of 2024

April 26, 2013

Arbor Day was celebrated in Mercer County with a tree planting by the Mercer County Senior High School FFA Members in honor of the first graders, the future class of 2024. The 3rd annual event was attended by over 220 first graders, teachers, principals, the Mercer County Conservation District, and many other distinguished guests.

Feature Story

Tony Burnett, NRCS Lead District Conservationist and Rose Ann Masters review the CSP Contract

Taking Conservation to the Next Level with CSP

March 18, 2013

Charlie Masters grew up on the farm he and his wife Rose Ann now own in Mays Lick, Kentucky. Farming was not familiar to Rose Ann though. She retired from teaching in Fleming County a few years ago and now finds herself running a successful breeding operation with 35 head of Charolais.

Feature Story

Daniel Pike of Pike Valley Farm in Lancaster KY

Pike Valley Farm Foods - Certified Organic Pasture Farming in Kentucky

January 25, 2013

The Pikes follow a management-intensive grazing system that breaks larger fields into smaller units called paddocks. Animals are moved frequently at high stocking rates to protect the soil and plants from the effects of overgrazing.

Feature Story

Larry Woods, Retired Educator now runs family farm in Garrard County

Retiree Improves and Diversifies Kentucky Farm for Future Generations

January 24, 2013

Larry Woods, Garrard County landowner, retires to the family farm to share his love for the land with his children and grandchildren. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is helping Larry improve and diversify his operation for long term sustainability.

Feature Story

Corum - Thousand Acre Woods

The Thousand Acre Woods

December 31, 2012

Jim and Joanne Corum, from Harlan County, have invested years of their time and effort to leave the land better than they found it. Now they are participants in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and taking steps to improve wildlife habitat and improve soil quality.

Feature Story

Geologist Paul Howell, Landowner Joe Kiser, and District Conservationist Charles Farmer

Conservation Minded Kentucky Farmer Makes Smart Improvements that will Save Money and Improve the Environment for Years to Come

October 12, 2012

Joe Kiser, Fayette County farmer, makes energy efficient improvements on his land with the technical assistance of NRCS. His improvements are saving him money and ensuring the long-term sustainability of his farm.

Feature Story

Harlan County Drip Irrigation.jpeg

The New Old Fashion Way Detention Center Garden Teaches Inmates New Skills and Reduces Costs

June 1, 2012

Harlan County Jailer, Curt Stallard, knew there was potential for a garden on the Detention Center property so he started one over three years ago. Thanks to the technical assistance of NRCS, the garden is producing gallons of fresh produce that the inmates enjoy all year round.

Feature Story

Alfred Couch owns a small farm in Hopkins County, Kentucky

Soggy Land is Restored for Wildlife


Years ago, Alfred Couch purchased a small farm in Kentucky that was within commuting distance to his job in Indiana. However, the 20 acre cattle operation was in disrepair with grass that was only mowed once a year, an overgrown pond, and fencing that was down in many places. In addition, the soil was not productive and much of the land was too wet to maintain hay production.

Feature Story

Bowling Family Farm

Prescribed Grazing and Focus on Soil Health Improve Eastern Kentucky Farming Operation

April 2012

The Bowling Family Farm in Clay County, Kentucky, is improving the quality of their livestock. Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Bowlings installed fencing, watering systems, pasture and hay land plantings, and other practices that built the infrastructure to implement prescribed grazing.

Feature Story

Russell County Landowners have 1st EQIP High Tunnel in Kentucky

Kentucky NRCS' First Environment Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Seasonal High Tunnel

March 2012

The Bernard Family Farm in Russell County was the home to Kentucky NRCS' first Seasonal High Tunnel. The entire process is pictured in the full story. For more information on the EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, contact your local NRCS Office.

Feature Story