HAMILTON, NY — Flannel shirts, calloused hands, delicious food and colorful stories marked the culmination of another year in protecting Madison County’s natural resources while assisting local agriculture and municipalities to make sensible land and water management decisions.
The 5th annual appreciation luncheon held at the White Eagle Conference Center credits the family of farmers, contractors, town supervisors, Agri-business companies, engineering support, state and federal conservation partners and funding organizations who collaborate together to get practical conservation on the ground. “The day is dedicated to saying thank you for contributing to the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District’s mission and enjoying food, friendships and the holidays together,” said District Manager, Steve Lorraine.
“I appreciate working with the district because the conservation practices around the farm save us time and money while getting our fertility program focused on growing quality soil and crops for the dairy herd. The practical advice I get from the staff is also invaluable,” said Chris Hughes of Rend-Cach Farm in Hamilton.
The Conservation District staff worked in tandem with its partners on a variety of projects in 2014 assisting farmers with conservation planning through the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program. These plans led to surveying and designing tile drainage, grade stabilization projects, stream remediation, manure storages, spring developments, milk-house waste systems, heavy use areas, riparian buffers and planting cover crops.
In addition, they managed construction projects, planted trees, installed fence on stream buffers, taught grazing management, developed nutrient management plans, delineated watersheds for culvert sizing, secured emergency permits and supported educational training opportunities in a robust work schedule.
According to District Board Chairman, Doug Holdridge, “The County benefits because for every dollar invested in the local district by county taxpayers it yields over 21 dollars back into the agricultural community. The key to successful conservation is how the local dollars are matched with outside funding sources and the landowner’s cost-share and time to get projects on the ground. It’s also good for the next generations who will farm or live here.”
To learn more about the work Madison County SWCD does for the community, contact the district at 315-824-9849 or visit www.madcoswcd.com .