October 2011 Conservation Dialogue Forum at Harrisburg

Agenda and presentation materials from the October 2011 Farm Bill Forum - on Conservation Programs

Forum Objectives

  1. Identify how Farm Bill Conservation Programs are currently working for producers – and which programs have had the greatest success.
  2. Identify the greatest challenges confronting Pennsylvania’s producers with respect to keeping farmer viable in the Commonwealth
  3. Develop lessons Pennsylvania’s producers and their partners learned from current and past conservation programs and how they inform the next Farm Bill.
  4. Challenge producers and partners to identify measures through which future conservation programs can improve in meeting producer goals and environmental outcomes.
  5. Discuss how Farm Bill-based targeted initiatives (like the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative – and priority watershed approaches) can be more effective or enhanced.
  6. Improve opportunities for producers to build strategic communications on their preferences and expectations for Farm Bill-based conservation programs.

Introductions  Kristen Saacke Blunk, Director Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center

Welcome  Jay Howes, Deputy Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Keynote Address on Pennsylvania’s Agriculture and Conservation Jim Brubaker, Buffalo Valley Farms Union County, PA

Administrative Status of PA Farm Bill Conservation Programs  Denise Coleman, State Conservationist USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Looking Towards the Next Farm Bill Jim Shortle, Professor of Agricultural & Environmental Economics Penn State University

What Pennsylvania’s Producers are Saying About Farm Bill Conservation Programs  Kristen Saacke Blunk

Charge for Roundtable Discussions Farmers and the conservation partners who work with them will collaborate in facilitated sessions to identify what conservation programs are working well and what improvements are needed

Facilitated Roundtable 1: 

On-farm success stories.  Landowner success stories may be anecdotal or evidence based.  Regardless, what specific examples or stories do producers and partners have to describe conservation successes?

  •   Who were/are the critical partners – including human, technical and financial resources.
  •   Identify the challenges or barriers that were encountered before, during or after implementation.
  •  Build a brief summary or statement across all of the success stories that can capture “Lessons Learned”.  This is the “elevator talk” – 5 min or less.

Facilitated Roundtable 2:

Challenges identified from Working Lunch.  How might the challenges have implications for conservation implementation at the farm scale?

 With scarce resources ($) – which programs hold the greatest value for producers to meet their conservation goals?

  • The least value?
  •  Targeting of resources?
  •  At what scale(s) is targeting of resources acceptable?
    •  Farm-level
    • Watershed (i.e. small – Conewago) level
    • Basin (i.e. Chesapeake Bay) level
  • Build a brief summary statement of highest value conservation programs and consensus (or non-consensus) about targeting approaches.

 Overall Synthesis and Prioritization of Input – using Turning Point Technology. This technology will be used o identify whether there are areas of consensus from the input gathered throughout the roundtable discussions.

 Next Steps and Closing Thoughts


PDF, 377.5 KB

Jim Shortle presentation

PDF, 1.5 MB

Kristen Saacke Blunk presentation