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2014 Conservation Success Stories

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Soil Health Breakfast and Planter Set-up Workshop - Columbia County

Jim and Tonya Bowman graciously hosted a Soil Health and Planter workshop at their home farm in Columbia County on January 24, 2014.  Tonya demonstrated her heart-felt hospitality, along with her superb cooking skills . . . .
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Field Day at a Plain Sect Dairy Farm - Lancaster County

Over 60 people gathered on a beautiful day for a Soil Health Field Day at Raymond King's farm in Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County.  The majority of attendees were Plain Sect farmers, but there were also some seed dealers and various agency representatives from the EPA, at least two different Conservation Districts, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board, Penn State Extension and NRCS . . . .
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NRCS Helps Amish Farmer Eliminate Soil Erosion and Runoff into Chesapeake Bay Watershed  - Dauphin County

Perched on a ridge top in Northern Dauphin County, an Amishman operates a dairy farm with the help of his family.  When the family purchased the dairy operation in 1988, they began milking approximately 40 Holstein cows. At that time, the existing concrete storage tank allowed for three months of manure storage; however, when the dairy operation expanded to 60 head in 2010, manure storage capacity was reduced to less than two months' storage. With minimal manure storage capacity . . . .
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Conservation Partnership Improves Health of Sugar Creek - Bradford County

Two brothers operate their family's dairy farm located near Ulster in Bradford County.  Their farm consists of 65 acres of cropland, as well as 43 acres of pasture along with other rented cropland.  The partnership's dairy herd typically consists of 90 dairy cows and 60 heifers and calves. Prior to the implementation of this project, the cows had unrestricted access to a large wetland pasture and two stream corridors that created a serious water quality concern . . . .
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NRCS Helps Protect Stretch of Antietam Creek - Franklin County

Between Crop fields and through a pasture meanders a stretch of the West Branch Antietam Creek.  Adjacent landowners were concerned with the condition of the stream and lack of aquatic habitat due to nutrient and sediment runoff.  In addition, lack of vegetation on the stream banks and farm animal access was contributing to stream bank erosion.  . . . . .
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Conservation and Enhancement of the Brian Zeidner Farm - Bradford County

Brian Zeidner and his family operate a small beef operation in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.  They typically run three cow/calf pairs and three steer on their 43 acre farm.  The farm is maintained in hay with the occasional year of corn utilized when renovating grass stands.  The farm currently consists of 5.6 acres of pasture and 13 acres of cropland.  Brian is considered to be a Beginning Farmer by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
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Conservation Practices Help Couple Manage Livestock More Efficiently and Profitably - York County

In 2004, Jerry and Susan Strausbaugh purchased a 40-acre farm in Wrightsville, PA. with the goal of establishing a diversified family farm.  When the Strausbaugh's bought the farm it was neglected so they have been working hard renovating and improving the farm ever since.  Their primary agricultural products are beef and grain.  Hay, chickens, a pet horse, fruit trees and garden produce add to the diversity of the operation.
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Conservation Practices Help Forest Landowner Create Wildlife Habitat - Tioga County

The landowner of a 120-acre parcel of predominantly wooded land, Dick Berry, came into the Wellsboro Field Office with a support group that included additional family members, a private forester and a game specialist from "Racks N Quacks" Wildlife Services.  They came equipped with a Forest Stewardship Plan and Habitat Management Plan, plus research and findings from Penn State University, PA Game Commission, and Quality Deer Management Association.  It was immediately obvious to us that these folks had a pretty strong feeling about what they wanted as a future natural resource base and had already done their pre-planning.
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NRCS, Partners Help Tioga County Forestland Owner Create Habitat for Golden-Winged Warbler

The Landowner of a 100-acre parcel of predominatly wooded land, Bob Kowalczyk, came into the Wellsboro Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office at the recommendation of his cousin, Ron Kamzelski.  Ron had previously received funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for forestry practices and most recently enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for non-industrial private forestland. Bob mentioned that his cousin's land had a significantly higher level of wildlife habitat diversity and that wildlife observation and hunting opportunities were more rewarding because of that diversity.
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Protecting Land and Wildlife  - A Cooperating Agency Success Story - Union County

In Union County's Mifflinburg Borough lies a 20-acre crop field that is home to Saranne Corbin.  This crop field is surrounded on three sides by development and Buffalo Creek on the fourth side.  It has been planted continuously to corn and soybeans for the past few years, so during the critical times of the year for wildlife nesting, there isn't much wildlife habitat except for ground hogs.
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Federal Program Helps Civil War Buffs Preserve Property - Adams County

Cassandra and Bill Pulig were "brought to" their land in Quaker Valley by a series of serendipitous, and a few scary, events.  Having met in the graduate program at the University of Detroit's Medical College, the couple had grown up in the North Country of changing seasons and shade trees.  Then they moved to Santa Rosa area in Northern California, a beautiful ranch on the Russian River, and stellar careers--Cassandra in bio-chemistry and executive development for the big names of Hewlett-Packard, Syntex, Silicon Graphics, and even Industrial Lights & Magic (that's George Lukas films!), while Bill followed the path of an Army physician for 30 years.
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Rice Family Preserves 190 Acre Farm in Adams County

This spring (2014) Barry and Michelle Rice partnered with the Land Conservancy to preserve 190 acres of the family's Westbrook Farm in Menallen Township along Route 34 between Biglerville and Aspers.
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