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Decatur's NRCS Office Wins Best Conservation Service Center for 2008

The office helped out with cropland improvements on nearly 1,000 acres.

November 13, 2008

2 Min Read

At an Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service meeting held earlier this month, NRCS State Conservationist Bill Gradle awarded the Decatur Field Office in Macon County with the NRCS Field Office of the Year Award for 2008.

Each year, Gradle names the Field Office team he feels has surpassed agency and customer expectations and met the challenges of conservation head on. As Team Leader, NRCS District Conservationist Annette Holmes confirms her team is built on a strong partnership which is the reason they accomplish so much and have met--and even surpassed--goals. "Our team works well together. We all have a passion for conservation and agriculture and we definitely enjoy what we do," says Holmes.

As in every Illinois county, the team includes a mix of NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation District staff who work together to assist local landowners with a seamless delivery approach. The NRCS team consists of District Conservationist Annette Holmes, Soil Conservationist Kelly German, and Soil Conservation Technician Jeff Hyett. The SWCD Team included Resource Conservationist Abbie Sperry, Watershed Specialist Shannon Allen, Watershed Conservationist Joe Magnotta, Administrative Assistant Linda Good, and Tri-County CREP Assistant Terre Zeigler. Also housed in the Service Center is the office of the Agricultural Watershed Institute.

With the Farm Progress Show's permanent Bi-Annual Expo site constructed essentially in their backyard, the team confirms that activity, interest, and visibility have intensified over the last few years. In addition, the Service Center is located right on the Richland Community College campus - bringing technology, students, research opportunities and more to their doorstep.

Conservation accomplishments of the Service Center during the last fiscal year, using NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Macon County Team has achieved the following:

- Cropland improvements on nearly 1,000 acres
- Conservation ground and surface water quality improvements on 1,400 acres
- Grazing and forest land improvements on 200 acres
- Conservation plans written on nearly 4,000 acres
- Measures to improve soil quality applied on 5,500 cropland acres
- Improvements to fish and wildlife habitat on nearly 100 acres of private land

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