Current Newsletter -
Olympia NRCS and CTD host Session One of Riparian Planning Considerations Training
By Rachel Maggi, NRCS
NRCS paired up with the WSCC Center for Technical Development to deliver the first of two week-long riparian conservation planning classes this spring. The first class, held in Olympia, reached 20 students composed of NRCS, CD, and County Planning staff from across the state. The agenda for this year’s course follows each step of the NRCS Planning Process, focused on the goal of developing a prescription for successful implementation of riparian buffers.
Class began with a watershed process overview, followed by a panel to discuss the challenges of “selling” riparian conservation to private landowners. Students were guided through on-the-ground resource inventory tools and an on-site Q&A session with conservation leader Fred Colvin, of the Colvin Ranch. Speakers from multiple agencies provided instruction on invasive species, stream hydrology and channel condition, and beaver habitat 101.
Back in the classroom, instruction was provided on the variety of NRCS buffer practices, along with excellent information on site preparation, plant materials, post plant maintenance, and many stories on successful (and not-so-successful) project implementation provided to experienced CD staff. Students were placed into small groups with a group assignment to complete a pre-assigned inventory tool, portions of the CPA-52, and a final 391 Riparian Buffer job sheet. Each group presented their work to the class on Friday.
Overall the energy and enthusiasm during the week was high, with students reporting back that they learned new technical information that will be put immediately to use in their jobs.
Thanks to all the instructors and students for a successful week! Next class is scheduled for Pullman from May 13-17.
Don't Forget to Register for WADE!
There's still time to register for this year's WADE conference! Don't miss your opportunity for great training content and networking opportunities with your peers. Registrations are due by no later than May 10th.
The CTD is working with the WADE conference leaders to bring you some special content at the 2019 WADE conference!
Forestry, Riparian, and Farm & Fields tracks will have more diverse content with special sessions tailored to information delivery, technology, climate response, and water resources.
The Riparian and Farm & Fields tracks will also have a special Monday session devoted to CTD and NRCS certifications, and a coordinated activity connecting fellow planners and mentors.
Lastly, we are working with NRCS to bring a special session to WADE on Wednesday that will fulfill one of your NRCS Planner Designation requirements. Not to mention we will once again host Lawn Games on Monday night! So much good stuff coming to WADE 2019!
WADE 2019 will be held June 10, 11, & 12 at the Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, WA.
Registration is open now! WADE Website
WA Department of Ecology finalizing Tillage and Residue Management Guidance
The work is a part of development of the Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture, with the help of a broad stakeholder Advisory Committee.
In March 2019, the first volume of the Dept of Ecology's “Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture Volumes” was finalized, and included a comprehensive consideration of both the effectiveness and implementation considerations of Tillage and Residue Management farming practices that minimize erosion to address pollutants (sediments, nutrients, pathogens, and toxicants).
NEXT UP - Riparian Buffers and Pasture Management
With the first volume finalized, Ecology is now taking on two more BMP volumes - Riparian Buffers and Pasture Management. As with the Tillage and Residue Management Guidance, this work is starting with gathering literature related to the effectiveness and implementation considerations for these two BMP types. Then, the work will really dig into what should go into Ecology’s guidance recommendations. Should be exciting!
Ecology has been actively engaging their Voluntary Clean Water Guidance for Agriculture Advisory Group in this work. This Advisory Committee was formed in late 2017 and includes a broad membership with strong backgrounds in farming, environmental, conservation, more. A number of Conservation District, NRCS, and WSCC staff are currently serving on this committee. CD staff include: Bob Amrine (Lewis CD), Jennifer Boie (Palouse CD), Nichole Embertson (Whatcom CD), and Josh Monaghan (King CD).
The Advisory Committee is organized into two separate Working Groups. One is focused on the effectiveness elements of the BMPs, while the other work group is focused on implementation considerations.
To learn more about this work, please contact Ben Rau, Environmental Planner at ECY, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 360-407-6551, or contact any of the CD staff listed above.
For more background information, you can also visit the Ecology website: https://ecology.wa.gov/About-us/Our-role-in-the-community/Partnerships-committees/Voluntary-Clean-Water-Guidance-for-Agriculture-Adv
2017 Census of Agriculture Data Now Available
Some interesting new demographic statistics nationwide:
- The average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012.
- The number of producers who have served in the military is 370,619, or 11 percent of all. They are older than the average at 67.9.
- There are 321,261 young producers age 35 or less on 240,141 farms. Farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.
- More than any other age group, young producers make decisions regarding livestock, though the difference is slight.
- One in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 46.3. Farms with new or beginning producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production.
- Thirty-six percent of all producers are female and 56 percent of all farms have at least one female decision maker. Farms with female producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production.
- Female producers are most heavily engaged in the day-to-day decisions along with record keeping and financial management.
All information is available at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.
REMEMBER – The easiest way to avoid issues with your AgLearn account is to login frequently – at least once every 20 days.
Take the guess work out and set an Outlook calendar reminder to prompt you!
by Lance Downing, Kittitas County CD