Centre County Agricultural Conservation Program

A rocky stream approaches some farm buildings in the center County Conservation District.The Upper Penns Creek Watershed is 240 square miles in size and includes approximately 30 linear miles of the Penns Creek stream channel and numerous tributaries including Sinking Creek, Elk Creek, and Pine Creek.
The Upper Penns Creek Watershed is a headwater watershed that drains a scenic, rural landscape consisting of forested ridges and agricultural valleys with small towns and villages. The Centre County Conservation District (CCCD) worked on four farms in this Watershed. Before their efforts, livestock on all the farms had free range of streams, waterways and sinkholes. Animal Concentration Areas on all the operations contributed runoff to streams, waterways or sinkholes.
The most important objective of the Centre County Agricultural Conservation Program project was to exclude livestock from these sensitive areas and to install forest buffers in the riparian areas. Another outcome focused on implementing BMPs to better manage livestock and prevent them from impacting these sensitive areas. The Centre County Conservation District reduced non-point source pollution on each farm in the Upper Penns Creek Watershed. The farms were categorized as high priority projects in the Centre County Chesapeake Bay Implementation Plan. The District mitigated non-point source pollution by installing best management practices on all four properties. CCCD excluded approximately 205 dairy and beef cows from waterways, and prevented 2,075 pounds of nitrogen, 820 pounds of phosphorous, and 284,000 pounds of sediment from entering the local waterways.