Kilhoffer motivated by manure in new position

Photo by Yelena Kisler – Resource Conservation Technician Kelsey Kilhoffer discusses plans to work with area farmers to implement Best Management Practices during her powerpoint presentation to the ECCD board on Monday.
Yelena Kisler
Staff Writer

At Monday's ECCD board meeting, the District's newest staff member presented an overview of what she's accomplished in the past few months.
Resource Conservation Technician Kelsey Kilhoffer, who started at the District Oct. 30, presented a powerpoint presentation that focused primarily on her work with local farmers, and future plans for manure management and agricultural erosion.
"Just this month I was able to finish my first set of plans for a farmer in Ridgway," said Kilhoffer. "So that was really exciting."
Kilhoffer has begun working closely with members of Natural Resource Conservation service (NRC) and specifically their Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
According to the USDA website, through the program the "NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you." Kilhoffer plans to work with local farmers to get them signed up with this program in the coming months.
She has also recently received some interest from area farmers in the NCRS Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program. According to the Pa. Department of Agriculture website, through the program "farmers, landowners and businesses earn tax credits for implementing 'Best Management Practices' (BMPs) that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources. REAP is a first-come, first-served program – no rankings and eligible applicants receive between 50 and 75 percent of project costs in the form of state tax credits for up to $150,000 per agricultural operation." Kilhoffer will soon be submitting some applications for that program on behalf of several local farmers as well.