HARRODSBURG - The Mercer County Conservation District office will have the help of Nick Christian for the next 10 months or so while he completes some of his training to become a district conservationist.
The staff here can use the help. District Conservationist Joe Montgomery says the workload for the Natural Resources and Conservation Service has increased over recent years and more money is available through the federal government and from tobacco settlement dollars. Montgomery said Christian came to the service at a good time; jobs are opening up because of retirement of some officials and the added funding.
Christian is a soil conservationist at this point in his training and Montgomery said his boss oversees 42 Kentucky counties and not long ago there wasn't a soil conservationist in any of those counties. Christian came to Mercer County after 11 months of training in Christian County.
The two counties could hardly be more different and so the conservation practices implemented are very different, he said. To begin with, Christian County is the second largest of Kentucky's 120 counties and is 721 square miles in size, while Mercer County has a land area of 251 square miles. Most of the rolling hill farms here measure in the hundreds of acres while Christian County farms are flat and may measure in thousands of acres.