Preserve + Conserve – Farmers Opting for Both

February 17, 2020

Levi was already thinking about the rundown house, the leaky barn roof, and the soggy cow pasture when his father sold the farm to him. A capable craftsman, Levi had plans to renovate the house – making room for his wife and their three children – and fixing the leaky barn roof. The soggy pasture, though, would require help.

A few years after purchasing the farm, Levi contacted Lancaster Farmland Trust (LFT) to request information about preserving the land. Levi knew he wanted to pass down his farm to his children, or make sure it stayed available for his community to farm. During the conversation with LFT staff, Levi mentioned the small creek and pond in his soggy cow pasture.

Levi wanted to preserve his land and improve a waterway on his property, making him a candidate for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant to help him achieve both. Our team calls this the “Preserve and Steward” grant – it provides financial and technical resources to farmers who are willing to preserve their farm, then apply conservation practices on it.

LFT will preserve the Drumore Township farm later this year. Afterward, Levi will work with LFT and TeamAg Inc. to design and construct a manure storage unit and field lane improvements. Streambank fencing and livestock crossings will be implemented through a grant opportunity offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Levi also intends to work with Donegal Trout Unlimited to complete a stream restoration project – improving the waterway for fish habitat.

Excited about the opportunity, Levi can finally fix his pasture and keep his cows healthier. The improvement to the waterway, which flows from his property into the Fishing Creek, then the Susquehanna River, means he’s helping his
community too.

Levi is one of five local farmers taking advantage of this special NFWF grant opportunity.


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