Sign-up begins in the Lower Kentucky Watershed for Conservation Security Program
On May 17, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the sign-up period for fiscal year 2005 Conservation Security Program participation. From March 28 to May 27, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept applications at the local service centers within the Lower Kentucky Watershed.
Prior to applying, landusers must complete a self-assessment workbook-available on the Web at http://csp.sc.egov.usda.gov/ or at your local NRCS office - to determine their operation's eligibility requirements and qualifications. This process is completed using a self-screening questionnaire.
The Lower Kentucky Watershed encompasses over 3,000 square miles and includes more than 10,000 farms. All or portions of the following counties are within the watershed: Anderson, Boone, Boyle, Carroll, Casey, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Henry, Jessamine, Kenton, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Owen, Rockcastle, Scott, Shelby, Trimble, and Woodford. For exact boundaries, please contact the local NRCS office in the above-mentioned counties.
CSP is authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) and is a resource-based enhancement program. Producers are eligible to enroll all types of agricultural operations. At a minimum, specific soil quality criteria must be met on at least part of an operation to be eligible for CSP. Although landusers offer entire operations, it may be determined that not all fields on the operation are eligible for the program. In these cases, landusers may be eligible for a CSP contract on part of their operation. Only one application per signup is allowed and a landuser may have only one contract at any one time.
David G. Sawyer, State Conservtionist said, "This year, the Lower KentuckyWateshed area landusers and producers will have the opportunity to experience the Conservation Security Program. This program offers conservation enhancement payments and incentives to those who meet the highest standards of resource conservation."
Additional information on CSP, including the Federal Register notices, public comments, and frequently asked questions, may be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.
For more information regarding CSP, contact your NRCS representative at the local USDA Service Center.
Mercer County Conservation District
Each year the conservation district offers a $750 scholarship that is renewable for four years. Applicants must be entering the fields of agriculture or environmental science between high school graduation and college graduation and have a high school grade point average of 2.5.
Rules and applications may be picked up from your high school guidance counselor or at the office at 227 Morris Drive. Applications must be returned to the office by 4 p.m. April 29.
Forestry Leadership Camp
The Mercer County District will sponsor a limited number of students to the Kentucky Forestry Leadership program. Eligible applicants should be rising juniors or senior students. This exciting program will be held at the Kentucky Leadership Center in Jabez, Ky, June 6-10. Applications may be picked up at 227 Morris Drive and returned to the office by May 6, 2005.