Kenny Copes of Cynthiana, soil conservation technician, Natural Resource Conservation Service in Lewis County, graduated recently from USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Planning Course held during January in Cookeville, Tenn.
Initiated by the vision of state conservationist Kevin Brown, Hull-York Lakeland RC&D has organized the two-week course in cooperation with Tennessee Technological University’s (TTU) School of Agriculture. Utilizing each of the three TTU farms, gives the participants a chance to view unique perspectives all in one place.
Thirty-eight students were enrolled from across Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Alabama. The 15 participants from Kentucky are employed by Soil Conservation Districts, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and NRCS. Training took place in the field and classroom on conservation planning, wildlife, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, grazing, water quality, soils, forestry, and the planning tools necessary to do their jobs well.
Each group was assigned a real life conservation planning scenario in which to develop a Resource Management System (RMS) level plan with a ‘mock’ producer.
An RMS level plan is the highest conservation level plan that can be written on a farm – one that addresses all the natural resource concerns and issues on a certain tract or parcel of land. That plan was later presented to USDA-NRCS Resource Specialists in order to ‘pass’ the course.