March 2017 NH Conservation Connection

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NELM

Regional Conservationist, Gayle Barry Addresses the New England Leadership Meeting in New Castle

Gayle Norman Barry, NRCS Regional Conservationist, met with the State Conservationists and Conservation District leaders from across New England to share information about the status of the agency and districts as well as provide information on a wealth of important topics.  More...


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NRCS and Partners Meet to Discuss Great Bay Conservation Issues

The Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, in existence since 1994, has been working to promote shared conservation goals and implement conservation programs in the Great Bay watershed.  NRCS has been an important partner in that effort and met with leaders this week to discuss next steps.  More...


Application deadline

NRCS Program Deadlines:

NH State Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Pre-proposals are due May 5, 2017.  Press Release

 

The next ranking/batching date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is April 21, 2017.  Press Release

 

The next ranking/batching date for Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) is April 20, 2017.  Press Release

The next ranking/batching date for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is April 10, 2017. Press Release

 

To learn more, please visit the NRCS NH Programs page 


Need Help Applying for NRCS Programs?

Contact your local USDA Service Center

 

Other USDA and State Program Deadlines

 

Rural Development announcement:  Businesses interested in increasing their bottom line through investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements can apply to USDA Rural Development for grant funding through the 
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) this spring. REAP provides grants to businesses that can cover up to 25% of the total project cost of business energy improvements. The application deadline for the 2017 funding round is today, March 31st. Contact USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator Ken Yearman at (802) 828-6070 or kenneth.yearman@vt.usda.gov to start the application process.

 

NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food Agriculture Nutrient Management Grant Program deadline is tomororrow, April 1st.  If you have questions, contact Jennifer Gornnert:  Tel: (603) 271-2753, 271-7761 Fax: (603) 271-1109  Email: jennifer.gornnert@agr.nh.govApplication


Soil Health Awareness

NRCS Soil Health Webinar Series

April 11th, at 2:00 pm:  Soil Health for Non-Operator Landowners

This webinar will focus on educating non-operator land owners on the benefits of improving soil health to increase the value of their land, and that it takes a solid working relationship between the landowner and farmer (often requiring changes in leasing structures) to obtain changes in soil health. Click here to learn more about the webinar and to sign in. 


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Soil Health Photo Gallery Now Available

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images is now available to help educators show producers how cover crops can work on their farms. The collection includes over 1,500 photos and illustrations organized into 10 galleries. A soil health gallery features high-resolution illustrations compiled in a set of 20 PowerPoint slides for use in presentations. The collection also includes five complete PowerPoint presentations that may be used by educators to illustrate the benefits of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems. These cover crop materials are provided for free to educators for use in non-commercial agriculture and conservation work, provided that proper attribution is used. Here’s the SARE press release.


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Acting NRCS Chief Leonard Jordan Announces Conservation Planning Objectives in a New Brochure

A new brochure outlines NRCS's overarching national conservation planning objectives and its proud history of combining voluntary, locally-led solutions with science and technology, land stewardship, partnerships, and proven conservation practices to deliver results for producers and communities. 



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NRCS Conway Crew Shares Expertise

On March 22, 2017, Nels Liljedahl, NRCS District Conservationist and Debra Marnich, NRCS Soil Conservationist, shared their 30+ years of combined experience working with native trees and shrubs to enhance wildlife habitat at a workshop hosted by NRCS partner, The Tin Mountain Conservation Center.  Deb and Nels stressed the importance of planting native stock and not invasive species by obtaining planting stock from the NH State nursery.  They explained the value of trees and shrubs for wildlife [invertebrates (pollinators), amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals], including: habitat, food, cover, nesting, roosting, hibernating, and hunting.  They gave planting techniques, particularly the value of leaf mulch and mychorrhiza and watering after planting, as well as showcased tools used for planting bare root and containerized stock.  They also explained soil types and why different plants do worse or better in different soils.   


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NRCS NH Publications and Technical Resources

 

From this newly-updated, user-friendly web page you can find informative, NH-focused and general conservation publications, posters, and links to technical information. Check it out!




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Julie Tosten has joined the NH NRCS as a Civil Engineering Technician (CET) in the Epping Field Office.  Julie joins us from the MA NRCS where she was a CET in the West Wareham office.


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Calendar of Events

A running calendar of events can now be found on the NRCS NH Website.

 

April 04, 2017    Webinar: Considerations for Transitioning Perennial Production to Organic

April 04, 2017    Webinar: Drought and Forest Ecosystems

April 08, 2017    Saving Special Places 2017

April 11, 2017    Webinar: Soil Health for Non-Operator Land Owners

April 11, 2017    CCCD Equipment Field Day

April 14, 2017    Wild and Scenic Film Festival

April 18, 2017    Soil Matters Conference

April 19, 2017    Vernal Pool Documentation Workshop

April 22, 2017    Souhegan Sustainability Fair

April 23, 2017    Belknap County Conservation District Trout Sale Orders Due

April 26, 2017    Skidder Bridge Workshop

April 26, 2017    Webinar: High Tunnel Systems

April 27, 2017    Webinar: Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments & Management Practices

April 28, 2017    New England Meat Conference

May 03, 2017    NH Harvest of the Month Kick Off Event

May 04, 2017    Grafton County Conservation District Annual Meeting


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NRCS Partner, The Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) Seeks Row Cover Donations

ORIS in Dunbarton and Concord, NH is seeking used pieces of row cover for winter protection, as well as for insect protection. If you have row cover pieces that you are planning to discard because of holes or any other reason, please contact Tom Paulsen and he will come and pick it up.  See past article on NRCS/ORIS partnership.


Civil Rights

March is Womens History Month

This month we took time to share some stories of women who have inspired us as well as learning about:

 

Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher

Gloria Steinem, Women's Rights Activist

International Women's Day and this year's theme "Be Bold for Change", as well as how it is celebrated in Nepal, thanks to our Financial Management Specialist, Radha Dhamala.

10 Great Speeches by Women

 


Featured Photo

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NRCS Soil Conservationist, Tim Tucker, took a "Doggie Paddle Polar Plunge" to benefit the NHSPCA. Cheering Tim on were his co-workers from the Epping Field office:  District Conservationist, Keri Neal, Program Support Specialist, Danel Stadig, and Civil Engineer Technician, Julie Tosten (Photographer).   Next year they hope to rally an entire NRCS Polar Plunge Team so get ready!