New funds for fencing livestock out of streams

Published 1:37 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015

RICHMOND — Farmers in 22 Virginia counties can now apply for $1.45 million in funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help improve Chesapeake Bay water quality through livestock exclusion and forestry practices in targeted rivers and streams.

Project areas are linked to priority watersheds and do not include entire counties. Producers may be eligible for this funding if they receive services from these NRCS Service Centers in Buckingham or Farmville.

According to a joint news release from the Virginia Department of Forestry, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, this new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project will focus on fencing, watering systems and establishing/maintaining forested areas along waterways.

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Interested individuals should call or visit their local office to confirm eligibility and complete an application by December 18 to be considered for fiscal year 2016 funding.

Offered in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), this multi-agency project will draw on the combined expertise of NRCS, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Virginia Department of Forestry to conduct outreach and offer technical assistance to participating farmers.

“Keeping cattle and other livestock out of streams is critical for clean water,” stated the release. “The wading animals erode stream banks and excrete waste, increasing bacteria, nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution for those downstream.”

Visit to find out whether your farm lies within one of the targeted watersheds or get additional information on Virginia RCPP projects.