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Maine NRCS Features

NRCS helps Somali Bantu farmers put down ‘new roots’ in Lewiston (Sept. 14) Recently NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff from the Lewiston Field office attended the groundbreaking of the New Roots Cooperative Farm, a new venture for four Somali Bantu farmers.

USDA-Maine donates more than 200 pounds of food to Bangor food bank (Sept. 2, 2016) This summer the USDA state offices in Bangor have helped feed area families and individuals in need by collecting more than 200 pounds of food for a local food bank.

Volunteer and Penobscot tribal intern hones conservation skills with NRCS-Maine (Aug. 12, 2016) Eighteen-year-old Selena Neptune-Bear is getting an up-close look at conservation efforts in northern New England this summer, as she works side-by-side with specialists from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Local dairy farm conserves grassland bird habitat (Aug. 11, 2016) In a first-time partnership effort, Gold Top Dairy Farm of Knox Ridge collaborated with the Somerset and Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation Districts this summer to conserve more than 40 acres of active hayland as grassland bird habitat.

Partner agencies protect land forever with permanent easement on Freeport farm (July 29, 2016) On July 20 the Freeport Conservation Trust (FCT) purchased a conservation easement on Winterwood Farm in Freeport.  This easement works to protect important agricultural soils from commercial and industrial development while ensuring agricultural and forestry viability for years to come.

NRCS grant helps immigrant farmers in Maine succeed with conservation practices (June 3, 2016) A grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping some immigrant farmers in Southern Maine learn about conservation practices and increase their crop production.

Fourth-generation farmer finds soil success in no-till and cover crops (May 2, 2016) On April 26 Bob Fogler, owner of Stonyvale Farm in Exeter, led a Spring Cover Crop Walk through fields on the farm where his family has embraced no-till practices and cover crops in order to increase crop productivity. 

Energy savings measures start to show results in York County greenhouse (March 18, 2016) A business in southern Maine is starting to see results due to energy saving measures implemented under Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) initiatives.

USDA commits $20 million to innovative conservation projects  (March 8, 2016) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the availability of up to $20 million in competitive grants through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The program aims to spark the development and adoption of cutting-edge conservation technologies and approaches for farmers, ranchers and other landowners.

Maine Conservation Districts announce start of statewide Natural Resources Assessment surveys (Feb. 8, 2016) Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), in cooperation with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), are conducting a Natural Resources Assessment (NRA) across the state, and need the help of Maine’s citizens.

Conservation Districts in Maine integral to statewide natural resource initiatives (Jan. 6, 2016) The Maine Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) convened last month at the Spectacular Events Center in Bangor for its Annual Winter Meetings. The 16 conservation districts in Maine that were represented at the meeting serve as the bridge between citizens and local, state and federal agencies.

New sign highlights ongoing partnership between NRCS and Penobscot Indian Nation (Oct. 22, 2015) An agreement between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Penobscot Indian Nation may help bring about the “conservation and sustainable use” of natural resources on the Nation’s reservation in central Maine.

Stream restoration seeks to set spawning salmon up for success in southern Maine (Oct. 7, 2015) A recently completed project that restored an aquatic organism passage in southern Maine may have prevented an environmental disaster on one of the area’s most important salmon-spawning streams.

NRCS conference at Maine Farm Days focuses on soils (Sept. 8, 2015) As part of the 2015 “International Year of the Soils” initiative, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) hosted a day-long seminar on the importance of soil health to Maine agriculture, during Maine Farm Days on Aug. 27 in Kennebec County.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Soil Conservationist Brittany Hummel (Aug. 5, 2015) As a young person growing up in Southwest Minnesota, Brittany Hummel developed an enduring fascination with nature, and since then she has spent time working for several of the nation’s most influential natural resource management agencies before joining the NRCS team.

NRCS helps preserve and identify prehistoric site in Maine (Aug. 4, 2015) The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently set a benchmark in historic preservation in central Maine by helping protect an archeological site eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Greenhouse curtain in Yarmouth reduces energy for owner (July 31, 2015) Jeffery Marstaller, owner of Cozy Acres Greenhouses, installed a Greenhouse Curtain (also known as a heat shield) via an EQIP-Energy Initiative Agreement.  The Greenhouse Curtain not only will reduce the amount of energy it takes to maintain the temperature goal in the greenhouse during the winter but also serves to reduce the strength of the sunlight during the summer.

Maine hosts continuing education for NRCS conservationists (July 29, 2015) Conservationists from six New England states came together in Maine July 28-31 to hone their skills at assisting landowners to voluntarily conserve natural resources.

Natural resource agencies collaborate for first ‘Kids Conservation Field Day’ (July 22, 2015) Conservation experts teamed up this week to teach some Bangor-area children about the wildlife, soils and forests in their backyard. The “Kids Conservation Field Day” held at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum on July 22 gave 20 local children the opportunity to talk with conservation experts, learn about nature, and just have fun while spending time outdoors.

Growing partnerships: NRCS and Androscoggin farm work for ‘bright future’ in Maine (July 14, 2015) Due west of Augusta and deep into the farmland of Androscoggin County, the River Rise Farm is growing much more than organic fruits and vegetables. The farm – settled between a gentle left bend in the Androscoggin River and a thick stretch of woods – is continuing to grow a partnership with the USDA that is helping cultivate healthy produce for local wholesalers and restaurants.

USDA and farmer panel highlights Maine women in agriculture (June 30, 2015) Women’s roles in New England agriculture were put in the spotlight as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and congressional leaders met with female farmers recently during a visit to Southern Maine.