News

June 2017

The General Forestry Course

The University of Maryland Extension will offer the General Forestry Course for the fall 2017 semester.  Both the paper and online version will be offered.  The course begins September 1 and runs until December 15, 2017.  Registration opens June 1st.  Click here for registration. For more, visit details.  

Informational Webinar on RSET Now Available

NRCS has archived several educational webinars for districts on the Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool. Go to this YouTube playlist to access the webinars.The webinars include “RSE Overview,” “Cropland RSE: How-To Guide,” “Range RSE: How-To Guide,” “Pasture RSE: How-To Guide,” and “Science Behind RSE.”

CTA Educational Two-Pager

The USDA Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program is the lifeblood of conservation in the United States. Through NRCS and its local, state, and national partners, CTA helps landowners become better stewards of their natural resources by assisting them with resource assessment, practical design, planning, and monitoring of conservation practices. In the wake of President Trump’s FY18 budget request and Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s proposed plans to reorganize USDA, NACD has created this educational two-pager on the Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program. Click here for more.

May 2017

Announcing the Formation of The Northeast Cover Crops Council and Upcoming Meeting

The Northeast Cover Crops Council (NECCC) was recently formed by a group comprised of farmers and representatives from NGOs, the ag industry, government agencies including USDA NRCS and USDA ARS, and universities. The mission of the NECCC is to support the successful implementation of cover crops to maximize economic, environmental, and social benefits. We facilitate regional collaboration between farmers, researchers, and the public to foster the exchange of information, inspiration, and outcome-based research. The November 2017 NECCC meeting will be open to the public and will feature panels, presentations, and posters related to cover crops. For more information and to indicate your interest in attending, please click details. The NECCC website and a meeting registration page will be online soon.

April 2017

Conservation Client Gateway Available to More Producers than Ever

Conservation Client Gateway, the secure online web application for landowners and land managers, is now available to business entities in addition to individual landowners. So, if your family-owned farming operation is an LLC or another business entity consistent with USDA’s entity categories, you can now access the Conservation Client Gateway. Earlier versions limited access to individual landowners. Conservation Client Gateway gives landowners and land managers the ability to track their payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents online anytime, anywhere. Click here to learn more.

Need Photos of Conservation Practices?

USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has accumulated over 1,500 images of cover crops and soil health. You are free to download and disseminate these photos as part of your district’s educational outreach efforts. In addition to SARE’s Cover Crop Image Library, the program also offers educators and producers free, ready-made PowerPoint presentations on cover crop topics and soil health illustrations. You can check them all out here. And for resources on cover crops from SARE, click here.

March 2017

Voluntary Conservation Grassroots Advocacy

The National Association of Conservation Districts has created a new Grassroots Advocacy webpage stocked with information and templates to help you contact Congress and advocate for issues important to conservation districts. Right now, it is critical Congress hears directly from you why Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) funding is crucial to this country’s conservation delivery system. If CTA were to be eliminated or severely reduced, it would drastically hinder efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. For more, click details.

Healthy Soils are Full of Life! Materials

NACD is now taking printing requests for Healthy Soils are Full of Life! materials. The stewardship and education materials are now eligible for print-on-demand services from Goetz printing. For more, click healthy soils.

February 2017

MASCD Hosts Legislative Luncheon

The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) hosted their annual legislative luncheon in conjunction with their winter meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Representatives from all of the 24 soil conservation districts in Maryland were joined by over 60 legislators at this event. Soil conservation districts took this opportunity to highlight the importance of state support for the districts and the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share Program. Legislators from all over the state expressed their understanding of the importance of the technical assistance that the districts provide to farmers, landowners, and the urban community. Full story.

Chesapeake Bay District Partners to Accelerate Conservation Adoption

 In an effort to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, the Harford Soil Conservation District (HSCD) has worked within its community to help meet the 2017 EPA mandated pollution reduction requirements. Recognizing the need to go beyond traditional boundaries to address soil and water conservation, the HSCD and Ecotone, Inc. (Ecotone) have developed a unique public-private partnership to become a driving force in helping achieve Maryland’s pollutant reduction goals. 

This partnership with Ecotone, enacted through a Memorandum of Agreement, has allowed the HSCD to effortlessly explore new funding sources and cost-effectively execute agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) throughout Harford County. “Ecotone’s assistance with grant funding preparation and environmental [BMPs] design & construction has accelerated the restoration efforts to local tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay.” says Bill Tharpe, District Manager. Full story.

2017 Soil Planners Now Available

The new 2017 Soils Planner titled “Soils Have Memory” is now available online at the NRCS Soils website. To view, click here.

You will also find all Soils Planners published since 1999, providing a valuable educational resource. Past Soils Planners have covered a wide range of topics including: soil biology, State soils, hydric soils, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial (Soil Paintings), International Year of Soils, and many others.

Maryland Farm and Harvest Episode 112 Explains Bioreactor Working to Filter Nutrient Runoff.

Partnership Press

Annual Reports

2016 Annual Report Released

MASCD released its 2016 Annual Report.  Soil conservation districts and MD farmers can be proud of their conservation accomplishments.



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Bay Model Results

The results of the 2013 Bay Model progress run have been released. Agriculture is well on its way to reaching the 2017 TMDL reduction goals for the 2017 progress report and has already achieved the 2017 goal for sediment reduction. Click here for results.

MCC lgog

MASCD Envirothon is a participant in the Maryland Charity Campaign, which allows Maryland state employees and retirees to give to over 700 participating charitable organizations. To help support Maryland high school students strive to learn more about our natural world and compete at county, state, and national levels, click the Maryland Charity Campaign link and enter code 6483, or enter Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Inc.  For more Envirothon information, pictures, and past winners, click here.  Thank you for your support!