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AGRICULTURAL SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP

The Pennsylvania Farmer has played an important role in the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Pennsylvania makes up 35% of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Susquehanna River is the largest tributary to the Bay and the actions of the farms in the Bay Watershed play a critical role in the health of its waters. This year’s Current Environmental Issue focuses on Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship.

Although great strides in reducing pollution have been made over the last decades, nearly one-quarter of Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams currently suffer from pollution. Contaminated runoff from agricultural, urban, and suburban areas, sewage treatment plants, septic systems, and even air pollution contaminate Pennsylvania’s streams and remain the leading sources of Pennsylvania’s pollution to the Bay.

Envirothon participants will learn about Pennsylvania’s natural resources and engage in hands-on training and testing. Students will learn the basic concepts of how agricultural Best Management Practices and all natural resource areas are interrelated. By providing a lifelong learning experience for these students, the Envirothon teaches the importance of maintaining a balance of the quality of life versus the quality of the environment specifically relating to agriculture. In addition, as part of the Envirothon program, students gain an understanding of the importance of promoting soil and water conservation stewardship.

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