Sunday, September 11, 2016
US Ag Sec. In D'ville
From the Capital Gazette
Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller congratulates farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for progress on conservation measures at an event in Davidsonville on Friday. Other officials in attendance, from left to right, included U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder and U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Jason Scott.
The six states in the Chesapeake Bay's watershed lead the United States in conservation practices, the nation's top agriculture official said Friday.
Ninety-nine percent of the watershed's cultivated acres have at least one conservation measure in place, a figure U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called "an extraordinary achievement unmatched anywhere in the United States."
Vilsack joined Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller and other officials at Davidsonville's Y Worry Farm for a celebration of the contributions farmers have made improving the health of the Chesapeake.
Farms have long been a focus in the effort to clean up the bay, whose watershed spans Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Fertilizer- and sediment-laced runoff from farms into the bay's tributaries add to the pollution that has created oxygen-deficient "dead zones" in the nation's largest estuary.