Water flows off a farm in Tennessee following a storm. NRCS Photo/Tim McCabe.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields.
It’s called the Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff, or WQIag for short, and this is how it works: Producers input variables about their field, such as slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices, and, finally, conservation practices. Read more »
Northern Marianas College in Saipan has an extraordinary group of student volunteers eager to answer conservation’s call.
These students, members of a college club called Environmental & Natural Resource Organization, are known throughout the community for their environmental work. Whether cleaning beaches and city streets or tending public gardens, they are role models and valuable volunteers in the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Earth Team program. Earth Team is the volunteer workforce of NRCS.
A faculty member in the NMC Math, Science, & Health Department founded ENRO in 2009. Since then, students have led, planned and organized conservation activities. These students log countless volunteer hours cleaning up and improving the environment of Saipan. In addition to picking up trash and weeding, they spend their free time learning about more complex methods of conservation. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack renewed an historic agreement to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects & energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms
Cross posted from The Huffington Post:
U.S. dairy producers are leading the way in productivity and innovation when it comes to sustainable practices. Earlier this afternoon, I joined Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy CEO Tom Gallagher to renew an historic agreement with the dairy industry to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects on U.S. dairy farms which help producers diversify revenues and reduce utility expenses on their operations. Today’s extension of the Memorandum of Understanding is an acknowledgement of the dairy industry’s legacy of stewardship and its ongoing commitment to improve our farms. Read more »
Paul Rutledge provides scale by standing near a large Yellow Birch found on the Trapp Farm Nature Preserve Wetland Reserve Program project. (NRCS photo/Kathy Ryan)
Dr. Paul Rutledge was recently honored with a National Individual Volunteer Award for his contributions to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Earth Team.
Earth Team is a volunteer workforce that helps NRCS maintain and improve natural resources on private lands. Out of the 19,075 Earth Team volunteers across the nation, only four individuals received this award this year. Read more »
Amanda Carrell holds a deep tillage radish, which is used as a conservation cover crop. The radishes help break up soil compaction and increases water infiltration. (NRCS photo)
Amanda Carrell’s two passions in life are volunteering and agriculture.
Luckily, as a student in a soil and water conservation course at Arkansas State University, Carrell was introduced to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Earth Team program, which allowed her to combine the two. Read more »
Twenty schools registered as GreenSchools! through the Project Learning Tree/U.S. Forest Service program are among 64 schools and 14 school districts honored April 22 as by the U.S. Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School.
The Education Department gave the awards for the schools’ exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
The schools were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 32 state education agencies. The list includes 54 public and 10 private schools. More than half serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced price lunch. Read more »