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State Technical Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are available in Adobe Reader format.

DRAFT Minutes of June 17, 2015, meeting of the New Jersey State Technical Committee

Those in attendance:

  • ​Amanda Curry, NRCS Earth Team
  • Amy Hansen, NJCF
  • Andrew Burnett, NJDEP Div F&W
  • Bill Angstadt, Growmark FS
  • Bob Erikson, National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Brian Marsh, USFWS
  • Brian McLendon, NJDEP/DWQ
  • Carrie Mosley, NRCS
  • Chad Cherefko, NRCS
  • Christine Hall, NRCS
  • Clint Lehman, NRCS Earth Team
  • Desirée Dunn, NJACD
  • Diane Gunson, Farmer
  • Evan Madlinger, NRCS
  • Fred Schoenagel, NRCS
  • Gail Bartok, NRCS
  • Gary Pohorely, SADC
  • Grace Messinger, North Jersey RC&D
  • Jennifer Nale, NRCS Earth Team
  • John Parke, NJ Audubon
  • Kristy Northrup, NRCS Earth Team
  • Kaitlin Farbotnik, NRCS
  • Kathy Hale, NJWSA
  • Kristen Meistrell, NJ Audubon
  • Lauren Lapczynski, NRCS
  • Liz Thompson, NJFB
  • Nancy Paolini, NRCS
  • Rob Tunstead, NRCS
  • Ryan Rebozo, PPA
  • Stephen Boyer, NJDEP/DWQ/BPR
  • Steve Eisenhauer, NJCF

Welcome & Introductions - Carrie Mosley

Carrie Mosley opened the meeting at 1:30 pm and thanked everyone for attending the State Technical Committee meeting. Attendees introduced themselves.

Open Discussion of Field Tour Sites – Carrie Mosley

The meeting was preceded by a field tour. The attendees met at Clover Hill Park, Flemington at 10 am for a tour and discussion of the use of Spelt as a cover crop. The second tour site was Tullamore Farms, where we looked at prescribed grazing practices and a livestock facility under construction.


The Minutes February 26, 2015 were accepted and approved without correction.

2015 Farm Bill Programs Status Update - Gail Bartok

NJ Received 4.2 Million dollars in EQIP FY15 and 247 thousand in AMA. All money will be spent in FY15. We received over 300 applications for EQIP in FY15.

Easements – old farmland preservation program, - now called ACEP –ALE – 3.2 Million this year, 4.4 Mil last year. Big cut nationwide – halved nationally.

ALE 15 parcels – We are processing and evaluating them. Allocations must be spent by 9/30/15.

Wetlands – 9 parcel applications were received. 500 thousand this year, but last year was 750,000.

Lauren and Gail developed a new Wetland Reserve Easement ranking and site evaluation system. This should work well this year to get us the best parcels in the future

Floodplain easements from Sandy – round 1 signup - 16 parcels on Delaware Bay. DEP Blue acres sponsors for these. We hope to buy all 16 parcels. There is 1 Ag parcel, 14 acres in Hunterdon County and we hope to close this year. Round 2 signup - 3 parcels, 2 were in Toms River, but one dropped out the other remaining project is a 400 acre ag parcel in process and we hope to close this year or early next FY.

June 22 – July 10 – sign-up for RCPP agreements.

Highlands Cluster is meeting Monday to discuss rankings and issues for RCPP.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program – Carrie Mosley

State RCPP: New Jersey Conservation Foundation was successful getting funding for a RCPP in South Jersey. Their project is focused mostly on farmland preservation with ACEP funds with a small portion of the budget focused on implementation of conservation practices on preserved farms with EQIP funding.

National RCPP: The multi state (PA, NY, NJ) project for the Delaware Watershed was approved for funding at 13 million. The project applicant was initially American Farmland Trust, but when the final agreement was developed, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation took it over as the lead. From this effort, 2.8 Million will be coming to NJ over 5 years.

2016 funds will be available for new RCPP projects. Interested parties should go to for application information and submit their proposal by the July 8 pre-proposals deadline.

Conservation Practice Standards Revisions and Additions – Christine Hall

Christine started by demonstrating the online electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG). She explained that all current and recently archived standards are available for viewing and download from the Electronic Field Office Technical guide (EFOTG). Contact Nancy Paolini if you would like a copy of this help document.

Christine then explained what Conservation Practice Standards are and the procedures for revising and creating new ones. (Attachment 1_Conservation Practice Standard Revisions and Additions.pdf) In summary, each standard is reviewed every 5 years. National standards are sent to the state and then each state can make the standard more strict or customize certain items but it cannot be made more lenient. In August 2015 the following practices will be updated: Conservation Cover (327), Conservation Crop Rotation (328), Contour Buffer (332), Cross Wind Trap Strips (589), and Tree/Shrub Pruning (660). If anyone would like to comment on these, please contact Kaitlin Farbotnik 732-537-6053. Comments are due July 22, 2015 and will be posted shortly after that.

Additional updates to 14 standards was published in the Federal Register in May. If anyone would like to review these standards please contact Kaitlin Farbotnik by August 15, 2015.

Resource Stewardship Pilot Demonstration – Chad Cherefko

Chad explained this new pilot program. Resources Stewardship is a system for comparison to see if existing or planned conditions meet “stewardship thresholds”. To that end the conservation planner conducts a suite of assessments and then develops a score card using data from the assessment tools. This score card looks at the big picture and presents this data to a producer in a visual way that makes it easy to see where resources are being protected, and where additional work could be done. It is a new product and Chad explained that it is very time consuming to enter all the data for one farm.

This could be the future USDA programs meaning that if a farm can get a good result on the “score card” it could result is qualifying for a cheaper loan rate, or other incentives.

Campbell Soup Company is looking at using this tool and NRCS staff will be working with their contract vegetable growers in NJ to run the assessment in the future.

(Attachment - 2_Resources Stewardship Pilot Demonstration.pdf)

State Technical Committee Survey - Christine Hall

Christine told attendees to look for an email survey sometime at the end of this week.

Christine then explained the categories of Resource Concerns that NRCS uses when providing conservation planning assistance to producers. The list of resource concerns NRCS uses was reviewed (Attachment 3_State Technical Committee Survey - Resource Concern List.pdf).

Earth Team Volunteer Recognition - Carrie Mosley

A short awards ceremony was held to recognize several NRCS Earth Team Volunteers.

Four of the 16 Earth Team Volunteers recognized nationally for their work with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Jersey were in attendance to receive their award from State Conservationist Carrie Mosley.

Clint Lehman, Jennifer Nale, and Kristy Northrup were among the 15 volunteers who helped Rob Tunstead, NRCS Soil Scientist, with the Subaqueous Soil Survey of Barnegat Bay. They won the National Group Volunteer Award – Northeast Region.

In addition, Amanda Curry worked with Evan Madlinger and helped in the Frenchtown NRCS office during school breaks while a student at Florida State. She won the National Individual Earth Team Individual Award – Northeast Region.

Aquaculture Opportunities - Christine Hall

Christine explained that NRCS is working to understand the needs of NJ aquaculture producers as it relates to natural resource protection. We are working with a number of partners as well as producers to find areas that we can assist with.

Open Discussion – Carrie Mosley

NJ will host Bobwhite Quail meeting the 1st week Aug – Gallaway NJ

2015 National Stormwater Roundtable will be held October 6, 7, 8 in Philadelphia

Shellfish question – NJ NRCS has looked at aquaculture assistance in RI, MD, and MA. We have learned a lot from their past efforts.

If interested in a future NRCS Program Training for Partners let us know. The first one was well attended (held on 12/3/2014) but the 2nd one, offered in May 2015 was canceled due to not enough people signed up. Maybe bad time of year?

Next meeting: Meetings will now be 3 times per year (approximately February, June and November). Next meeting will be announced and will be sometime in November 2015.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 pm

ACEP - Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
ALE - Agricultural Land Easement
AMA – Agricultural Management Assistance Program
AWEP – Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
CAP – Conservation Activity Plan
CIG – Conservation Innovation Grant
CRP – Conservation Reserve Program
CREP - Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
CStP – Conservation Stewardship Program
EQIP – Environmental Quality Incentive Program
FRPP – Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
FSA – Farm Services Agency (USDA)
GRP – Grassland Reserve Program
HFRP – Healthy Forest Reserve Program
NASS – National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)
NIPF – non industrial private forestland
NFWF – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
NWQI – National Water Quality Initiative
NRCS – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
RCPP- Regional Conservation Partnership Program
RD – Rural Development Agency (USDA)
SAFE – State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement
TSP- Technical Service Provider
USDA – United State Department of Agriculture
WHIP – Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program
WLFW – Working Lands for Wildlife
WRE - Wetlands Reserve Easements
WRP – Wetlands Reserve Program



This page last updated November 6, 2015.