HAMILTON, NY — “From every conceivable angle — economic, environmental, social, cultural, public health, national defense — conservation of natural resources is an objective on which all should agree,” said the “Father of Soil Conservation”, Hugh Hammond Bennett. This important mission takes plenty of logistical work to accomplish the goals. Thankfully the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District is well suited to take on the tasks.
Against a savagely wet spring, a July 1 flood, dried-out fall and pitiful farm-gate prices, conservation practices must go on. It definitely takes a village to get all the work done before the snow flies. For the 8th year in a row, the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District honored its partnership with a luncheon at the White Eagle Conference Center praising family farmers, local contractors, town supervisors, Agri-business companies, engineering support, state and federal conservation partners and funding organizations in getting notable conservation on the ground.
“After a record year of road closures, installing new culvert systems, planting over 900 acres of cover crops and completing many farm projects and nutrient management plans, the luncheon provides a day of respite to enjoy a relaxing meal, tell a few stories and watch a slideshow of the work performed in 2017,” said District Manager, Steve Lorraine. “It definitely takes a team effort to get all the work done.”
The conservation district staff of eight, with their agricultural roots, worked in tandem with their partners on a variety of projects in 2017 assisting farmers with conservation planning through the NYS 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, mentored interns, developed nutrient management plans, delineated watersheds for culvert sizing, secured stream permits and led educational training events and held the popular annual tree and fish sales within their busy work schedule.
Madison County Board of Supervisors Chairman, John Becker complimented the district’s efforts, “It’s a good investment for the residents of the community, especially after this taxing year of flooding damage and getting timely work done before winter.
Wayne Perry of Fencing and More in Truxton, NY said, “I appreciate the district folks working outside the box to address problems and the ability to create plans that work towards everyone’s goals.”
Kevin Woolley, Estimator for Antana Linings Inc. of Latham, NY commented, “Working with the district on farm projects has been seamless. They are good to work with”.
To learn more about the work the Madison County SWCD does for the community, contact the district at 315.824.9849 or visit www.madcoswcd.com.