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Conservation Connection e-blast - January 13, 2014

Conservation Connection e-blast


The latest news from NRCS Massachusetts and our partners.

USDA extends deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program to Feb. 7th 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014. Farmers and forest land owners interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7, 2014. 

Massachusetts state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations and tribes may apply for federal farmland protection program

The Massachusetts state office of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from state and local units of government, federally recognized Tribes, and non-governmental organizations for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). FRPP provides up to 50 percent matching funding for the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands. Landowners may not apply directly to NRCS for this program.

Join a national conversation on cover crops and soil health on Feb. 18th

You are invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the SARE-sponsored “Forum  on Cover Crops and Soil Health:  Harvesting the Potential” on Tuesday, February 18thJoin the conversation at one of four Massachusetts locations, which are among nearly 200 locations nationwide hosted by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Cooperative Extension. Each forum will feature a live-streamed video broadcast of the opening sessions of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Nebraska. The broadcast will begin at 10:00 am EST. Registration begins at 9:15 am and local welcoming remarks at 9:45 am.

NRCS Conservation Agronomist to speak at Boston screening of new soil film

NRCS Conservation Agronomist Tom Akin and several other local soil specialists will help the public to explore the complexity and mystery of a miraculous substance – soil – at the screening of the new feature length documentary Symphony of the Soil on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 7:00 pm at the Boston Museum of Science’s Cahner’s Theater.

Conservation Showcase:

Beginning farmer seeks greener pastures

When Sean Stanton started improving the pastures surrounding his small farm in Great Barrington, Mass.,  his efforts not only benefited the natural resources of this scenic southwest corner of Berkshire County, but also diners at an upscale eatery on the lower west side of Manhattan.

FUN FACT: the farmland and New York restaurant featured in this article are owned by chef and restaurateur Dan Barber, who is interviewed in the Symphony of the Soil film above.

Are you looking to access farmland in the Pioneer Valley?

If you’re looking to access farmland, considering selling or leasing land to a farmer, thinking about passing your farm to the next generation, or a supporter of local agriculture in the Pioneer Valley of western Mass., this event is for you!  A Farmland Access Information Night will be held on February 4, 2014, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm,  (snow date: February 5th, John W. Oliver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield, Mass.