York County Conservation District will accept applications for the Conservation Excellence Grant Program

The Conservation Excellence Grant (CEG) Program is a new state funded program with the purpose of providing financial and technical assistance for the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural operations. The state Conservation Commission (SCC) administers the program with assistance from county conservation districts delegated certain responsibilities and duties.

These delegated responsibilities include reviewing, ranking and approving applications for eligible projects and monitoring project completion. The $2.5 million program, created by the 2019 PA Farm Bill, funds on-farm measures that reduce erosion and run-off, improving soil and water quality to ultimately sustain agriculture and improve the region’s quality of life.

Some examples of eligible best management practices include fencing to keep livestock out of streams, streambank restoration, cover crops, planted streamside buffers to filter nutrients out
of streams, manure storage, and comprehensive plans to manage nutrients, control erosion and conserve soil and water. Funding will support technical assistance and the installation of these
and other high-impact BMPs.

BMPs funded by Conservation Excellence Grants will help Pennsylvania meet its federally mandated goals to reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment into the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

Applications will be accepted beginning July 1 and evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis, according to their potential to meet program criteria. Grant funding may be combined with other
public grants, tax credits such as the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP), and private funding.

Find applications, instructions and more information about Conservation Excellence Grants on the York County Conservation District website at yorkccd.org. Complete grant program guidelines can also be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Farmers with questions about applying should contact Mark Flaharty via email at mflaharty@yorkccd.org or Stephen Miller at
smiller@yorkccd.org or call the York County Conservation District at 717-840-7430.