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Agricultural Conservation Assistance
Snyder County > Departments > Conservation District > Agricultural Conservation Assistance

 Notices to Landowners, Farmers

Landowners Wanted: Stream Buffer Plantings


Do you own stream front property or enjoy picking your own fruit, berries and nuts? Then we have exciting news for you!

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) and Snyder County Commissioners are seeking landowners interested in planting forested or multifunctional riparian buffers funded through a DCNR (PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources) Riparian Buffer Grant Program. Not only will landowners reap the benefits of fruit and nut production, but will experience less stream bank erosion, and ultimately improve overall stream health.

Not interested in a multifunctional buffer? No problem, the DCNR grant also includes the establishment of native forested riparian buffers. Funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Lauren Cheran, SCCD Watershed Specialist, at 570-837-3000, x114 for additional information.


All Projects Wanted

A message from our District Manager:

As we look towards the future with continued push to meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay, and with an idea that another round of grants will soon be offered, we need projects.

For many years, in conjunction with the NRCS (USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service) supported programs and several other funding avenues, the DEP (PA Department of Environmental Protection) Growing Greener Grant program has been the major source of funds for projects through the Conservation District. We are potentially coming up on another round of Growing Greener Grants, and we desperately need to hear from landowners in the county that need some assistance. In a nutshell, Growing Greener is a potential funding source for any project that will make a positive impact to water quality. For example; streambank fencing, buffers, streambank stabilization, barnyard improvements, improved stream crossings, manure storage buildings, roof gutters, pasture fencing for improved grazing management. Quite simply, if you can draw a line to an improvement in water quality it potentially will fit in a Growing Greener Grant.

Now is the time. We need to meet with you and find out your needs, and do some preliminary planning to make a successful grant application. I want to have our office submit as many of these as we can to bring the money to Snyder County.

Jason Winey, District Manager

 Technical Assistance

Much of the work done by the Snyder County Conservation District staff relates to agriculture and protecting our ground and surface waters. Along with other cooperating agencies, we have installed many best management practices (BMPs) on farms throughout Snyder County. Examples of agricultural BMPs are: improved barnyards, streambank fencing, manure storages, waste stacking structures, diversions, grass waterways, cattle stream crossings, milkhouse wastewater treatment systems, riparian buffers, cover cropping and no-till crop planting.

Examples of agricultural BMPs can be found in the Snyder County Agriculture BMP Guide and the PA Conservation Catalog. These booklets show many types of BMPs that can prevent sediment and nutrient pollution of surface and ground water. Go to the "Technical Assistance Publications" section to download either publication. 

From time to time, other publications are available either at the SCCD office or at the (USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service) NRCS-Middleburg Field Office. Examples include materials on no-tilling, cover cropping and workbooks to help write a manure management plan (MMP). We also sell soil test kits for farmers to analyze nitrogen needs (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), pH and other soil nutrient levels.

We have a database of people willing to offer their no-till planting services or equipment. You can even send us information if you wish to be on the list. Check out the "Technical Assistance Downloads" section for these items. We also can help out with manure spreader calibrations.

The SCCD also sponsors or hosts events for farmers and their family members to participate. For instance, the SCCD has held an annual Farmers Winter Meeting since 2001, field day events, Women in Agriculture workshops and in 2016, three soil health informational meetings. Check out our Meetings & Workshops web page for more details and examples.

Note #1: The Conservation District offers assistance to farmers by helping them write their own manure management plans (MMPs) or teaching them how to write these plans themselves. Contact Barry Spangler, Agricultural Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118, for more information.

Note #2: The SCCD had at one time offered financial assistance for farmers to hire a commercial plan writer to write their own manure management plans (MMPs) or nutrient management plans (NMPs). We are not currently doing so now. However, you can earn a tax credit by completing a REAP application if you hire someone to write your plan. Also, there is a statewide program available for farmers to hire a consultant to write a plan. Scroll down to the "Financial Assistance" section for more details on both programs.

For more information about the technical assistance farmers can receive, please contact the Conservation District or the NRCS-Middleburg Field Office.

 Financial Assistance

There are several programs that farmers can seek financial assistance from the Conservation District, NRCS and other agencies. They are as follows:

Examples of recent, upcoming and potential Conservation District financial assistance programs include barnyard improvements, pasture and streambank fencing, cattle stream crossings, pasture watering systems, manure storages, roof runoff controls and riparian buffers. Go to "Financial Assistance Downloads" to read some examples.

At this time, the SCCD is gathering a list of farmers, agricultural operators, livestock and equine owners and farm landowners interested in best management practices (BMPs). Potential BMPs to be funded may include riparian and vegetative buffers, streambank fencing, improved barnyards, manure storages and pasture watering systems. Go to the top of this page for details and contact us NOW!

Interested persons may also check with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at 401 West Market Street, Middleburg, (570-837-0007, x3) for possible financial assistance.

Note: In most to all cases, farmers interested in manure handling best management practices (BMPs) (such as manure storages, improved barnyard and milkhouse wastewater treatment systems) will need to have either an approved Act 38 NMP or a NRCS "590" standard NMP written first before becoming eligible for NRCS or Conservation District financial assistance.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also has many programs such as:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  • Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)
  • and others.

The USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers conservation cost-share and loan programs as well. For example:

  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Check out the "Financial Assistance External Links" section for more details on NRCS and FSA programs. You can also call either or both offices in Middleburg.


A PA tax credit program (REAP Program: Resource Enhancement and Protection Program) exists for farmers who installed or plan to install best management practices (BMPs), have planted cover crops the prior crop year, or have purchased or will purchase no-till planting or specialized manure handling equipment. Farmers can also receive tax credits for nutrient management plans (NMPs), manure management plans (MMPs), conservation plans and agricultural erosion & sedimentation (Ag. E&S) plans. REAP is through the PA State Conservation Commission (SCC) and PA Department of Revenue.

It should be noted that any interested farmer must have an MMP or NMP (if produce or receive manure) AND an up to date conservation or Ag. E&S plans on all land they own and rent to qualify for BMP and equipment tax credits. If not, tax credits can only go towards the development of MMPs, NMPs, conservation and Ag. E&S plans.

Contact anyone at the Snyder County Conservation District office (570-837-3000), or Joel Semke, SCC REAP Program Administrator in Harrisburg, PA, at 717-705-4032 for information. You can also receive information or download an application by going to the SCC's REAP website.

The SCC plans to start accepting applications beginning on September 16, 2019, for completed and proposed projects at this time.


The PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) will be again offering a cost share program for agricultural operators and landowners to help with costs for hiring a commercial plan writer to develop the following:

  • a manure management plan (MMP)
  • a nutrient management plan (NMP)
  • an agricultural erosion & sedimentation plan (Ag. E&S Plan)
  • a conservation plan (similar to a plan written by NRCS)

Any of the plans listed above and completed after January 1, 2019, are eligible. Applicants must:

  1. Complete an application and submit it by April 1, 2020, or when funds expire, whichever happens first.
  2. Submit the plan(s), with registration form, for a completeness review by May 30, 2020.

You can download a packet of information containing:

  1. A registration form
  2. A reimbursement form, and
  3. FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Farmers interested in the program needs to send a completed registration form to Larson Design Group. After receiving an okay, the farmer then completes a reimbursement form with a copy of their plan(s) and sends them to Larson Design Group.

For basic information, contact Barry Spangler at 570-837-3000, x118.

Snyder County farmers should contact Sara Bolton, Larson Design Group, Inc., 1780 State Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870 (Phone: 570-374-5700) and leave a message if you have other questions. She will forward you to someone who can supply you with detailed information.


The PA DEP's Small Business Ombudsman's Office has a grant program in which small businesses, including agricultural operations, can apply for grant to fund natural resource conservation best management practices (BMPs) that  prevent sediment and nutrient pollution. Possible projects include forested/grass riparian buffer plantings, streambank fencing and barnyard runoff controls.

The maximum grant award allowed is $9,500.00 and a match up to 50% of equipment/material costs is possible. This is a first-come, first-serve award basis.

For more information, contact the DEP Small Business Ombudsman's Office at 717-772-5160 or

 Contact Information

Snyder County Conservation District
10541 Route 522
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-3000
Fax: (570) 837-7300
Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 Snyder County AG BMP Guide

The Snyder County Conservation District has recently updated their Agricultural BMP Guide in April 2016. It shows and explains various best management practices (BMPs) that farmers can install to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution on their operations. Examples include: improved barnyards, streambank fencing, cover cropping and waste storage structures. All items shown were BMPs installed in Snyder County. Almost all the BMPs were installed with technical and financial assistance from the Conservation District or the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

You can download a copy of the AG BMP Guide or request a printed copy by either stopping at our office or contacting Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.

 SCCD Internal Links

 Technical Assistance Publications

 Technical Assistance Downloads & Links

 Financal Assistance External Download & Links

 External Contact Information

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Middleburg Field Office
401 West Market Street
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-0007, x3
Farm Service Agency
Snyder-Union Office
405 West Market Street
Middleburg, PA 17842
Phone: (570) 837-0007, x2
Fax: 1-855-831-7923