Today’s Topic: 75th anniversary of soil and water conservation

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logo2012 marks the 75th anniversary of soil and water conservation in the U.S. and North Carolina. In fact, Anson County native Hugh Hammond Bennett was known as the nation’s father of soil and water conservation.

Today, there are 96 soil and water conservation districts across North Carolina, and they work in partnership with government and nonprofit agencies. Partners include the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, state Division of Soil and Water Conservation, the Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation.

Bennett began his crusade for soil and water conservation during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Back then, the focus was on preventing soil loss. Today, soil and water districts serve the needs of both rural and urban areas. Districts are taking the lessons learned through years of agricultural conservation efforts and applying them to urban challenges. They’re working with homeowners association to better manage storm-water runoff; they’re looking for opportunities for energy credits for farms, and participating in projects where methane is being captured from livestock farms and used for energy.

Bennett stressed the wise use of resources, and Troxler says that philosophy remains at the foundation of soil and water conservation today.

Click below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this topic.

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