The Spartanburg SWCD's mission is to promote the wise and responsible use of our natural resources through education, demonstration, and technical services for the benefit of all citizens of Spartanburg County.
World Soil Day
Conservation District Coordinator
About the Soil & Water Conservation District: The Spartanburg Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a subdivision of state government under the local control of a five-member Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners guide the efforts of conservation professionals from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with assistance from the Conservation Districts Division of the SC Department of Natural Resources. Our mission is to promote the wise and responsible use of our natural resources through education, demonstration, and technical services for the benefit of all citizens of Spartanburg County. The SWCD office is located in the Spartanburg USDA Service Center.
Position Overview: The District Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of the Districts activities. This position also works closely with the USDA-NRCS which provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers and forestland owners.
NACD Joins International Year of Soils Celebration as FAO Issues Report in Conjunction with World Soil Day
As World Soil Day was observed last week, NACD joined with partner organizations at an event at the US Department of Agriculture to celebrate a successful International Year of Soils. Speakers at the event included Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller, South Carolina Farmer and NACD Soil Health Champion Carl Coleman, and Ajay Markanday, Director of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office for North America. The speakers mentioned the success of the International Year of Soils in raising awareness of the importance of soil to agriculture, the environment, and society. Many conservation and soil health leaders were in attendance.
The day after this celebration, the FAO released a report, The Status of the World's Soil Resources. The report highlights some of the greatest threats to soils, including erosion, lack of nutrients, salt accumulation, and soil acidity. It also discusses ways to promote soil health, including education, minimizing soil degradation in areas where people are most vulnerable, stabilizing soil organic matter stores. and investing in research and development. Click here for an article from FAO on the report.
For more information on the International Year of Soils, including posts about the themed months of the year, visit the NACD Blog.
(Photo Top): NACD CEO Jeremy Peters with producer and soil health leader Carl Coleman
(Photo Bottom): NRCS Chief Jason Weller speaks on the International Year of Soils
USDA Commits $20 Million to Innovative Conservation Projects
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last week the availability of up to $20 million in competitive grants through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The program aims to spark the development and adoption of cutting-edge conservation technologies and approaches for farmers, ranchers and other landowners. USDA is also seeking CIG proposals for projects to stimulate natural resource solutions to protect or improve the quality of ground and surface water.
CIG awards are made through a nationally competitive process. Projects may be single or multi-year, but cannot exceed three years. Projects must involve EQIP-eligible agricultural producers or landowners. At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including in-kind contributions.
Applications for CIG projects are due by May 10, 2016. More information is available on the NRCS CIG website. This year's application process includes two other significant changes: an increase in the maximum award amount to $2 million, up from $1 million in 2015, and a streamlined single proposal process.
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