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Conservation District
Snyder County > Departments > Conservation District

 To All Snyder County Farmers

To All Snyder County Farmers:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the state of Pennsylvania is behind in its pollution reduction goals for restoring the Chesapeake Bay and PA agencies must set a course to reach those goals.

One of several ideas in reaching those goals was to increase the number farms being inspected (from 2% to 10% of all farms/year) to determine if they are following state and federal water quality regulations. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) urged conservation districts to help with these compliance inspections. While conservation districts have traditionally conducted inspections among certain animal operations, they also offered technical and financial assistance to farmers as well.

If a conservation district agreed to do this, they would not see a reduction of state funding for technical staff. It would also likely mean a shift in time and resources away from offering technical assistance to farmers to conduct these inspections. Many conservation districts agreed to participate. However, several conservation districts felt uncomfortable doing this and decided not to participate.

The focus of the inspections is to determine whether farmers:

  • Properly handle, store and land apply animal manure and agricultural process wastewater on the farm consistent with the nutrient needs of growing crops [i.e., a manure management plan (MMP) or a nutrient management plan (NMP)]; and
  • Properly manage risks of erosion and runoff from agricultural plowing or tilling operations and animal heavy use areas [i.e., an “agricultural erosion and sediment control plan” (Ag E&S Plan) or a conservation plan].

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) Board of Directors (made up of one county commissioner, four farmers and two public members who are appointed by the county commissioners) voted that its staff conduct these inspections for one year (July 2016 – June 2017) on a trial basis. It was reasoned that it would be better for our farmers to be visited by SCCD staff instead of DEP or EPA. If a farmer was found deficient or lacking in their plans, that farmer could seek SCCD assistance with those plans upon request. In May 2017, the SCCD Board voted to have its staff continue with these inspections for another year (July 2017 – June 2018).

In the meantime, SCCD staff asks that famers work on seeking our guidance in getting their plans in compliance. There may be a time in the future when an SCCD staff member visits a farm and the plans are not in compliance. It’s possible that the SCCD may not be able to help and would be forced to report the problem to DEP.


As farmers you plan what crop varieties to plant, measure the amount of herbicide to use in your sprayer, inventory what forages and livestock you own, record what medicines you give your animals, and repair equipment when it is broken. Does it not make sense to plan how to handle and spread your manure and take measures on keeping your land productive? Also, does it not seem proper to show others that you, as a farmer, are doing your part in improving our local waters and the Chesapeake Bay?

If you have any questions or want to meet with us, please feel free to contact me or any of my colleagues at 570-837-3000.

Respectfully yours,

Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician

Note: A copy of this letter can be downloaded here

 SCCD Updates


Woodland value is not always measured by the quality of timber. There are untapped treasures in the forest that can bring forest landowners some additional income. On June 16, 2017, the DCNR-PA Bureau of Forestry, Community Partnerships RC&D, and the Snyder County Conservation District held an Agroforestry Workshop in which marketing non-timber products, medicinal plants, edible plants and mushrooms, maple syrup, ginseng, multi-function buffer plantings and charcoal making were some of the topics discussed.

Click here for additional information about the workshop.

Thirty-nine (39) teams involving nearly 190 students from thirteen schools in five central Pennsylvania counties arrived at the Shikellamy State Park Overlook for the annual Susquehanna Valley High School Envirothon held on April 25, 2017.

Topics that the students were tested in were wildlife, forestry, aquatics, soils and a specific current issues topic that changes yearly. The current issue topic for this year is sustainable agriculture. Each team also visited a non-testing station in which controlled fires and forest fire fighting were discussed.

The Snyder County winning team was from Selinsgrove Area High School located in Selinsgrove. Team members were (above, left to right) Nathan Moyer, John Merroth Jr., Jacob Dock, Addie Lannan and Alyssa Landis. (Curtis Swineford, not pictured, Ag. Education teacher, was the team’s advisor). They placed eighth (2nd) overall out of 39 teams and were the top scoring team in the aquatics station.

A team from Mifflinburg Area High School in Union County won the overall title this year. All top county teams statewide become eligible for the PA Envirothon. For more information, check out this summary. For more information, contact us at 570-837-3000.

Update: A team from Delaware County won the PA Envirothon held at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The event was held on May 23 & 24, 2017.


On May 9, a similar event for 7th and 8th graders in the five county area was held at Montour Preserve near Danville and Washingtonville. A team of 8th graders from Selinsgrove Area Middle School placed 4th among teams present. The first place was from Mifflinburg Area Middle School. For more information, contact us at 570-837-3000.


The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) was recently invited to help out with several environmental and conservation education presentations at several schools the past few weeks. They were as follows:

  • The SCCD was responsible for organizing an educational event in late April for Middleburg Elementary School kindergartners. Several staff members from the SCCD and other agencies helped out with the presentation. More information will be forthcoming. Click here for pictures, etc.
  • Middleburg Elementary School invited the SCCD to organize a "5th Grade Envirothon," which was held in May. Students were given materials in advance to study before the contest. Click here for more details.
  • Fifth grade teachers from West Snyder Elementary School invited an SCCD staff member to give a presentation about water quality, water conservation, the water cycle and other similar topics. Click here for additional details.

The Conservation District (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.

Although the SCCD currently does not have any funds, we may find possible financial assistance in the near future for agricultural and streamside BMPs. If interested, either contact Jason Winey, Watershed Specialist, at 570-837-3000, x112, or Barry Spangler, Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118. (Copy of recent news release)

Note: 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.

The PA State Conservation Commission and the PA Department of Revenue, will be accepting applications in the near future for the REAP credit program that awards farmers who have installed or will install BMPs, hire people to write plans, purchase no-till planting equipment, etc.

Go to our Agricultural Conservation Assistance web page for details.

Recent Happenings: Go to "Conservation News" section of this web page for additional details: 
News Updates:

Effective or Happening Now:

Upcoming Events:
  • Farm Girls Rock (2017 Women in Ag Workshop), September
  • Display in Beaver Fair, September


 General Information

A conservation district is a subdivision of state government that follows county lines as boundaries. Funding for the conservation district's programs is obtained from the Snyder County Commissioners, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other agencies. The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) was founded in 1956.

A partial list of what we are involved with includes:
The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) is governed by a seven member board of volunteer directors. The Board of Directors meet monthly to plan and direct local conservation issues. To accomplish their goals and objectives, the board relies on their staff, paid employees of the Conservation District, and cooperating agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), PA State Conservation Commission (SCC) PA Game Commission, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Bureau of Forestry, Farm Service Agency, Penn State Cooperative Extension, among others. 

 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.

 July SCCD Board Meeting Notice


The regular meeting of the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) Board of Directors, scheduled for Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at 4:00 p.m., at the SCCD Office located at 10541 Route 522, Middleburg, PA, has been cancelled. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at the SCCD Office, starting at 4:00 p.m.


 Our Sign Says ...

A message brought to you by the Staff and Board Members of the Snyder County Conservation District

 Upcoming SCCD Events

 SCCD Conservation News

 A Message for Farmers, Livestock & Equine Onwers


Farmers, Livestock & Horse Owners ...

Do You Have the Following?

Nutrient or Manure Management Plan?
Ag. E&S or Conservation Plan?


If yes, are they up to date? If not, meet with the Snyder County Conservation District as soon as possible. We will explain what is required of you and point you to the right direction. PA DEP has been conducting inspections throughout Snyder County to determine if farmers are following the new regulations.


Contact us and go to our Agricultural Nutrient Management and Agricultural Erosion Prevention web pages for more details.



 SCCD on Facebook

We are also on Facebook.

 SCCD Publications & Links

 Snyder County AG BMP Guide

In April 2016, the Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) held an agricultural BMP Tour in conjunction with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and financial assistance from others. One of the end products of this tour was the “Snyder County Agricultural BMP Guide” (AG BMP Guide). This guide pictures of BMPs installed within the county.
You may request a paper copy of the AG BMP Guide or download it off this website. Questions about the tour or AG BMP Guide can be forwarded to Barry Spangler, SCCD Ag. Conservation Technician, at 570-837-3000, x118.

 Others in the SCCD Building

The Snyder County Conservation District (SCCD) currently has two tenants in our office building. They are:
Snyder County 4-H; Kathy Weller as Coordinator.
Edwards Moving & Rigging.

 General Downloads

 Cooperating Agencies: External Links

 Other Groups & Contacts: (External Links)