May 2017 NH Conservation Connection

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NH NRCS and SSSNNE Host Annual Soil Matters Conference

The third annual Soils Matters Conference was held on April 18th at the Audubon Center in Concord, NH.  The New Hampshire Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Society of Soil Scientists of Northern New England (SSSNNE) worked cooperatively to sponsor the conference. More...


NRCS Soil Science Division Director Dr. David Lindbo Visits NH

While in New Hampshire for a previous speaking engagement, Dr. David Lindbo, Director of the Soil Science Division spoke with members of the NRCS staff and toured two local farms. The goal of the visit was to see how the Soil Science Division can better interact with the conservation team to provide future assistance to our customers.  More...

Dr. Lindbo was also a guest on NPR's Science Friday.  The podcast is available at


NRCS Teaches Soil Science Through the NH Envirothon

NRCS Soil Scientist Peter Whitcomb, with the assistance of Earth Team Volunteer (and UNH grad student) Emily Whalen, played their traditional Envirothon role preparing the soils station, developing and scoring the exam, and taking photos.  Congratulations to this year’s Envirothon winner - Conant High School, in Jaffrey, NH.



NRCS Educates in April and May 

NRCS has hosted numerous training workshops and events this spring designed to educate employees, farmers, and foresters on: grazing management, culverts and fords, no till planting, New England Cottontail habitat planting, pollinators, forestry, soils, and even a Shiitake workshop. Photos
Future events and workshops are listed on the NRCS web page calendar and in this newsletter. 

Application deadline

NRCS Program Deadlines:

NH State Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Applicants selected from pre-proposals must submit full proposals to NRCS by 4:00 p.m. on June 16, 2017.  Press Release


The next ranking/batching date for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is June 12, 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 Non-NRCS Programs:

Help for Historic Barns

The NH Preservation Alliance is serious about their 52 Barns in 52 Weeks initiative. Their Historic Barn Assessment Grant program has a deadline of August 1, 2017. Download an application and Farm Reconnaissance form at or contact Beverly Thomas, Program Director, at (603) 224-2281. These small matching grants cover the cost of a professional assessment and help barn owners by providing “road maps” for repair or re-use. For 2017 and the 52 Barns Initiative, the Alliance has expanded the assessment grant program to include mini-grants to help more barn owners. These $400 grants or $200 mini-grants, coupled with a property-owner match of $100 or $50 respectively, go towards hiring a barn consultant to inspect the barn, determine its age and key features, assess what’s required to stabilize, repair and reuse the structure. Winners of a $400 grant will receive a full written report; winners of the mini-grant will receive a brief written summary upon completion of the site visit. The reports offer valuable planning tools that identify problems, propose specific preservation strategies, and offer cost estimates for needed repairs.

Soil Health Awareness

NRCS Soil Health Webinar Series

Pest management from an ecological framework (first broadcast May 9, 2017, but is available on demand)

Presented by Penn State’s John Tooker, Ph.D., this webinar focuses on ecological management of agricultural pests (insects and slugs); and, it emphasizes the importance of pairing soil health practices with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to ensure that gains in soil health are not degraded by unnecessary pesticide use. Click here to learn more about the webinar and to sign in. 


Adam Crete is the MCCD Farmer of the Year

The NRCS and Adam Crete have worked together on cover cropping since 2013 when he first seeded 473 acres of Rye.  In 2014 and 2015 he also aerially seeded 795 acres of cover crops as well as double cropping with shorter season corn and triticale.  He is now no-till seeding hundreds of acres of corn and cover crops with NRCS assistance.  


Kim McCabe, NRCS Soil Conservationist said, "Adam deserves recognition for his innovative efforts and his willingness to try new things.  He also sets a great example for others."  


NRCS, through a Conservation Innovation Grant, Shows Farmers Double Crop Farming with Triticale

The Moore family at Windswept Maples was a triticale double crop CIG participant last fall.  Jeff Moore’s brother put together a great video of his rotational grazing into the double crop triticale this spring.  The video does a superb job of explaining his operation and how he used the double crop for grazing. Triticale is a cross of rye and wheat.  The feed quality of this mix is better than rye alone and is winter hardy.  Because it will survive the winter, it grows sooner in the Spring and matures by the time the corn crop goes in.  


Prime Walpole Farmland Placed in Conservation, Keene Sentinel, May 12, 2017


NRCS NH bids farewell to District Conservationist Beth Ann Finlay who retired May 25th.  We wish her all the best in this new chapter of her life. Chad Cochrane is the Acting District Conservationist in Grafton County.

Chris Powles, Soil Conservationist in Concord is leaving the NRCS for a career in Real Estate.  We also wish Chris the very best.  

We welcome five "Pathways" Soil Conservationist interns tomorrow:  
Bryan Sullivan in Concord
Brianna Belisle in Epping
Kensley Hammond in Lancaster, and
Erik Nielsen in Walpole


Calendar of Events

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


June 03, 2017    American Hiking Society National Trails Day

June 08, 2017    Bunnies & Birds: Shrubland Ecology Tour

June 09, 2017    NHANRS Soil Color and Texture Workshop

June 13, 2017    Mowing Management for Pollinators

June 13, 2017    Irrigation Workshop

June 14, 2017    SELT Annual Conservation Celebration

June 15, 2017    State Technical Committee Meeting

June 15, 2017    NHANRS Spring Quarterly Meeting

June 20, 2017    NHANRS Soil Mapping Workshop

July 10, 2017      Beneficial Insect Scouting Workshop

Civil Rights

May is National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together 

The theme this year provides a single focus for all Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI)’s to unite by speaking together. This theme encourages the various AAPI communities to join together to overcome misconceptions and stereotypes about the vibrant and diverse AAPI community. The AAPI experience varies greatly and all groups must join together to communicate our individual experiences. Diversity is a Journey and we cannot travel there alone. By uniting our voices, we can raise issues and tell stories that elevate the AAPI community. With this theme, we hope to improve representation in the workplace by communicating the benefits of a diverse workforce.

May is also National Military Appreciation Month

This very important month honors, remembers, recognizes and appreciates all military personnel; those men and women who have served throughout our history and all who now serve in uniform and their families as well as those Americans who have given their lives in defense of our freedoms we all enjoy today.  More...


Featured Photos


Photo by:  Tim Tucker


Photo by:  Keri Neal