Elizabeth joined NRCS for the day on November 26th to learn about the Earth Team Volunteer Program. David Hahn, Soil Conservationist,
says “She wanted to find out what we do here at NRCS.” She is currently a sophomore at Iowa State University studying Forestry and
Horticulture. Her family is from northern Ogle County and she indicated she is interested in continuing as an Earth Team Volunteer this coming Summer if conditions allow.
According to Hahn, “We spent much of the day in the field reviewing contracts that contained a variety of different conservation practices. We kicked things off with a stop at two Conservation Stewardship Program contract tracts that had been fall planted with a cover crop of cereal rye grass. One had been aerial seeded and the other drilled. We discussed the differences between the two seeding methods and followed up with the operator to discuss which he preferred and why.”
Hahn also stopped by a Conservation Reserve Program pollinator and native grass seeding that needed an NRCS review prior to conducting a prescribed burn. “I walked Elizabeth through identification of several grass and forb species and talked about why we burn and how we create the plans,” Hahn explained.
Their final stop of the day was at a site with a forestry contract that expired a couple years ago. The landowner gave them both a tour of the property and talked to them about tree identification and how he has continued to successfully manage the property after completing the contract.
The experience and time spent with NRCS and local conservation farmers provided a great opportunity for Elizabeth. She hopes to have the time and opportunity to visit the NRCS office in Ogle County again soon to learn even more!
If you would like to find out more, visit the webpage Illinois NRCS Earth Team.