$1M award will help put more Md. live­stock in clover

Record Observer - - NEWS -

AN­NAPO­LIS — Ali­son Prost, Mary­land ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Foun­da­tion, is­sued this state­ment Dec. 21 fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment by the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice that CBF received a Re­gional Con­ser­va­tion Part­ner­ship award to fun­nel $1.1 mil­lion worth of con­ser­va­tion prac­tices to Mary­land live­stock farm­ers. The money will go to farm­ers who want to con­vert their op­er­a­tions to graz­ing sys­tems, rais­ing an­i­mals on pas­ture, rather than in con­fined ar­eas.

“Putting live­stock back on pas­ture, as farm­ers did for gen­er­a­tions, is one of the best means for restor­ing both farm prof­its and clean wa­ter. Pas­ture-raised an­i­mals are gen­er­ally health­ier, in­put costs are lower, and farm­ers are often paid a pre­mium for sell­ing ‘grass­fed’ prod­ucts. Con­vert­ing cro­p­land to pas­ture means less po­ten­tial runoff of fer­til­izer and ma­nure to lo­cal streams,” she said.

Sign up for the funds should be avail­able by the fall of 2017. CBF and the Mary­land Graz­ers’ Net­work en­cour­age any farm­ers in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about graz­ing or want­ing to ap­ply for these funds to con­tact Rob Schn­abel at 443482-2175 or rschn­abel@cbf. org.

Cat­tails grow in an area that fre­quently be­comes a small pond dur­ing rainy sea­sons. In some ar­eas, un­der­ground ir­ri­ga­tion is used to help sus­tain wet­lands while they are get­ting started, and then na­ture takes over.

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