Video series highlights applications for versatile conservation program

conservation video program
Featured producers include (clockwise from top left) Louisa County forester Matt Dowdy, Scott County cattleman William Godsey, Augusta County dairy owner Lee Simmons and Middlesex County farmers Jacob and Corkey Kirby. Photo courtesy Virginia office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

A new video series from the Virginia office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service highlights the value of the NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program.

The Virginia CSP Champions videos spotlight four producers in distinctly different spheres of agriculture who have all chosen to make participation in CSP a part of their business plans. Their testimonials supply viewers with a peek at their successful operations and why and how they feel CSP works for them.

The CSP “champs” include:

  • Forester Matt Dowdy and wife Jessica of Louisa County, who appreciate the flexibility offered by CSP in helping them guide the transformation of their 550 wooded acres into a forester’s playground with emphasis on recreation, wildlife habitat and timber production.
  • Air Force veteran William Godsey, a cattleman who’s used the new ideas and techniques available through CSP to help him and his brother modernize operations on the picturesque Scott County family farm where they worked and played as boys.
  • Lee Simmons, who has seen significant changes at his Augusta County dairy since he began refining his conservation practices with assistance from CSP. Reduced tillage, multi-species cover crops and advanced nutrient management are helping improve both soil health and water quality on property Simmons expects to hand over to his three sons.
  • Andrew “Corkey” Kirby and his grandson Jacob, who produce some of the best cover crops grown in Middlesex County by working smaller parcels and taking the time to be precise and get it right.  Their management style works well with CSP.

The videos, which feature all four producers talking about the financial and environmental importance of their participation in CSP, can be accessed on the Virginia NRCS YouTube channel.

The FY 2020 deadline for activating new CSP agreements and/or renewing expiring contracts is May 29. Growers and land managers interested in maximizing the full potential of their properties are invited to contact their local NRCS field office for specific answers on how CSP can help farmers attain their goals and realize their vision for their land.

augusta free press news