Submitted by Johnna McHugh
Division of Conservation
Thousands of Kentucky landowners receive state assistance through the Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share program. Known informally as state cost share, the program was created in 1994 and helps landowners implement best management practices to protect soil and water resources on their property. Since the program’s inception, more than $113 million has been approved for use in implementing best management practices through more than 13,000 submitted applications. This money has assisted landowners in all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Two farm families from Henry County have recently shared their experiences and property benefits after applying for state cost share.
Bill and Karen Shannon moved back to Henry County three years ago to enjoy retirement in the Campbellsburg community where they purchased an 18-acre farm for their thoroughbred horses. They made necessary improvements to the land and worked with the Henry County Conservation District and Greta Steverson, former Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist, to install a heavy-use tract near their barn that would prevent soil degradation and runoff caused by increased horse traffic. In addition, they installed watering facilities and fencing through a similar federal program — the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. In discussing the cost share incentives they received, Karen Shannon noted, “Every little bit helps when you’re trying to improve things.” The Shannons plan to utilize the program again for future planned improvements.
Richard and Theresa Riggs own a 125-acre cattle farm in Pleasureville where they installed multiple practices with help from state cost share. Today, their farm has a heavy-use area that includes a watering facility, fencing around a pond and a renovated pasture. The heavy-use area helps to reduce runoff from a region where the cattle frequently gather. Drinking water is pumped from a nearby pond to the watering facility where cattle drink but cannot damage the soil around the pond due to fencing that restricts access.
“Having a fence around my farm protects my own water quality and the water for the people downstream,” said Richard Riggs. “The state cost share program helps small farmers repair problems they wouldn’t be able to afford to fix.”
Learn More about State Cost Share
The staff at the Henry County Conservation District can help you with information about this and other programs. District employees, as well as associated state and federal employees, are happy to talk with landowners about programs that can assist them in implementing best management practices on their land. You can visit the Henry County Conservation District at 1125 Campbellsburg Road in New Castle or reach them by telephone (502-845-2890) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).