Soils Unit

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service


Manasota Regional Envirothon

Students from seven area high schools competed in this environmental competition. Working in teams of five, the students took exams in Soils, Aquatics, Wildlife, and Forestry at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida. The winning team Amoeba Alert (Lauren Demo, Theresa Polly, Leah Rothfeld, Anna Trinci, and Kyle Grosser) from Manatee High School will represent Manatee County at the State contest in May. Sarasota High School’s Tree Thuggers team (Robbie Heere, Toni Mogensen, Conor Shea, Halle Olson and Alisa Smovzhenko) placed first among Sarasota County schools and is eligible to compete at the State contest. Thanks to major sponsors Manatee Fish and Game Association, Mosaic Company, Sarasota County Farm Bureau, and Keep Manatee Beautiful.

Read more about the contest here at this Bradenton Herald blog: http://eastwordbradenton.blogspot.com/2014/02/manatee-high-school-places-first-in.html

View the MRSWCD Fall 2014 Newsletter

 

Speech Contest

The Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District Speech Contest will be held Monday, November 10, 2014 at 6:00pm. This speech contest is designed to develop leadership through public speaking activities and stimulate interest in conserving our natural resources. Open to any student regularly enrolled in any high school, middle school, home school, or virtual school in grades 6 through 12 in Manatee County. Cash prizes for 1st through 3rd place winners. The topic this year is:

“Hardworking Pollinators:
Why are they local heroes?”

For rules and more information, click here.

*NEW* The 2013 contest winner places first at state competition! Read more here.

USDA NRCS Programs

The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service Soils Unit, in partnership with the NRCS/USDA and the Manatee River Soil & Water Conservation District, assists Manatee County's land owners with conserving their soil, water and other natural resources. The majority of conservation application is accomplished with local partners.

Local, state and federal agencies and policy makers also rely on our expertise. We deliver technical assistance based on sound science, suited to a customer's specific needs. Cost shares and financial incentives are available in some cases. Participation in our program is voluntary. Applications are taken year round. The application deadline to be considered for 2015 funding is November 21, 2014. Applications received after November 21st will be considered for future funding periods.

Producers from the 5 county area; Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, and Sarasota are invited to a Farm Bill meeting which will be held in Arcadia at the Turner Center on Tuesday, September 30th from 6 -8 pm. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency staff will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about EQIP and other available cost share programs and resources. Prior to the meeting from 5-6 pm the NRCS will have a Working Group meeting so producers can let NRCS know what resource issues they are having and how the issues can best be addressed through programs.

Learn more about the 2014 Farm Bill and programs offered: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/fl/programs/
EQIP flyer: pdf
Conservation Program Application: pdf
USDA Farm Bill Meeting Announcement: pdf

USDA Announces Additional Support for Citrus Growers Impacted by HLB

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made new financial assistance available to eligible Florida citrus growers for the removal of trees afflicted with Huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening) and for replanting groves with new healthy stock. The support comes through USDA's Tree Assistance Program.

Florida citrus growers will be eligible for up to 50 percent of the cost of the removal of diseased trees and site preparation, 65 percent of the cost of replanting and labor, and 65 percent of the cost of seedlings. Losses must have occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2011, and individual stands must have sustained a mortality loss of 15 percent after adjustment for normal mortality. Trees that are no longer commercially viable may be considered to have met mortality. Supporting documents may include purchase receipts for eligible trees, planting and production records, and documentation of labor and equipment used to plant or remove eligible trees.

FSA is administering this program, for more information, producers may review the Tree Assistance Program fact sheet at www.fsa.usda.gov/factsheets or contact their local county FSA office at http://go.usa.gov/pYV3.


Now Available Online


Stormwater Ponds: A Citizen’s Guide to Their Purpose and Management

Published by the NRCS and a couple agencies, in cooperation with numerous agencies, this manual is written for citizens, stormwater managers and practitioners. With a practical approach to stormwater ponds and their care, the manual contains information on developing a neighborhood based care program for your stormwater pond. Please note that some of the contacts on the list in the back of the manual may be out of date. If you prefer a hard copy , we have a limited supply. Please call our office at 941-907-0011.

View the PDF.

Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District Board Members

An elected five-member, non-partisan board of supervisors volunteer their services.

Chairman: Jennifer Brunty, Ph.D.
Vice-Chair: John J. O’Connor, Jr.
Secretary/Treasurer: Paul Howard
Supervisor: Callon C. ‘Buddy’ Keen, Jr.
Supervisor: Ben King

 

Conservation Awards

Each year, teachers whose students participate in a Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District (MRSWCD) event select a deserving student to be presented with a MRSWCD sponsored Conservation Award. The winning students have excelled at a conservation related achievement such as land judging or presenting a speech in the annual Speech Contest in November.

Congratulations to the following students:

Middle School FFA
Caleb Greer-Buffalo Creek
Samantha Baum- Haile
Colton Ginter- Nolan

High School FFA
Savannah Dunsmore- Braden River
Emily Chamness- Lakewood Ranch
Rebecca Keefer- Palmetto

Manatee County 4-H
Samuel West


We coordinate several educational events for the Manatee River Soil & Water Conservation District, including Envirothon, Land Judging, Speech Competition, and the Spring Conservation Farm Tour.

Have you ever wondered what the nation's soil and water conservation districts are all about? Click here to read more...

Resources

Access soil maps and data online here.

For More Information

Visit http://www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/

Or contact the local Manasota Service Center

6942 Professional Parkway East

Sarasota, FL 34240-8414

(941) 907-0011

Gail Somodi, Manatee County Soil Conservation Supervisor

John Noll, Manatee County District Soil Conservation Planner