Cultivating Conservation for Maryland and Delaware's Small and Historically Underserved Farmers

Check out the Cultivating Conservation Workshop Series. Offered in-person from January to June in 2022. They are FREE and open to all!

About this event

Federal programs can be complex to navigate, especially for beginning farmers or individuals who have not established a relationship with the sponsoring agency. “Cultivating Conservation for Maryland and Delaware’s Small and Historically Underserved Farmers” will target historically underserved groups to increase their knowledge of conservation practices and programs. The course will cover an overview of conservation practices, available conservation programs provided by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and other agencies, understanding of application processes, eligibility, and contractual agreements, and how conservation projects can fit into an overall farm plan.

The University of Maryland Extension and Agriculture Law Education Initiative team, in cooperation with University of Delaware Extension, Maryland and Delaware NRCS, and Soil Conservation District field offices, will deliver education and outreach through classroom and hands-on experiences and tours of conservation offices. The program will provide six hours of classroom instruction and will occur during evenings or weekends. It is free and open to anyone interested in adopting conservation practices on their farm.

Locations
 

Lower Eastern Shore Maryland

Address: Somerset Extension Office, 30730 Park Dr, Princess Anne, MD 21853
Dates: January 18, 25, and February 1, 2022  |  Tuesday's
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Dinners provided; kids welcome, activities for ages 5+

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Baltimore City

Address: Baltimore City Extension Office, 6615 Reisterstown Road, Suite 201, Baltimore, MD 21215
Date: March 12, 2022  |  Saturday
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lunch provided

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New Castle County, Delaware

Address: New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE 19716
Dates: March 22 and 24, 2022  |  Tuesday & Thursday
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Dinner provided

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Southern Maryland

Address: Charles Soil Conservation District Office, 4200 Gardiner Rd, Waldorf, MD 20601
Dates: June 9 and 30, 2022  |  Thursday's
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Dinner provided

Register

This project is funded through the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant. The program is open to all if you need special accommodations.

About the program
 

Purpose

Federal programs can be complex to navigate, especially for beginning farmers or individuals who have not established a relationship with the sponsoring agency. “Cultivating Conservation for Maryland and Delaware’s Small and Historically Underserved Farmers” will target historically underserved groups to increase their knowledge of Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, understanding of application processes, and how conservation projects can fit into an overall farm plan.

Summary

  • The University of Maryland Extension and Agriculture Law Education Initiative team, in cooperation with University of Delaware Extension, Maryland and Delaware NRCS, and Soil Conservation District field offices, will deliver education and outreach through classroom and hands-on experiences - Beginning Farmer and Women in Agriculture will be the targeted audiences as they are both “Historically Underserved” populations
     
  • Educational curriculum and programs such as workshops and service center field trips will be conducted to increase the knowledge and comfort level of participants interested in conservation projects 
     
  • Knowledge gained will improve environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands, increase soil health, and build capacity of local partners to develop and implement effective projects 
     
  • Education efforts will focus on improving understanding of contractual agreements, program expectations and incorporating conservation into an overall farm production plan 
     
  • This project will operate August 2020 to July 2022 

Objectives

  1. Increase knowledge of federal conservation programs including soil health resources, conservation programs, and eligibility by conducting workshops
     
  2. Reduce apprehension and increase comfort level of navigating and selecting federal conservation programs by conducting field trips to service centers
     
  3. Increase understanding of contractual obligations and eligibility for federal conservation programs
     
  4. Create a whole farm plan that includes production and conservation practices

 

Dr. Sarah Hirsh describes details for Maryland and Delaware's new education program to promote conservation practices.

For More Information Contact:

Dr. Sarah Hirsh
Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension
(410) 651-1350  |  shirsh@umd.edu