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Streamline and Simplify



This agricultural conservation planning tool is designed to help staff, with a wide range of experience levels, collect and organize information from on-farm discussions regarding conservation needs. 

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who is it for?


New employees entering into the agricultural conservation field may have only a basic knowledge of farming operations.  They may not know what questions to ask or what practices to recommend. This tool is designed to pose questions that engage farmers in a way that is friendly and approachable.  


It will collect basic information about their agricultural operation, goals, resource conditions and concerns, and conservation options. 


Many agencies work regularly with farmers, including those involved in farmland preservation. Using this tool, staff can document the farm's agricultural conservation practices and learn about possible best management practices that could be of value.


This information can then be presented to agricultural conservation specialists in order to streamline implementation.


This tool provides a means for experienced agricultural conservation professionals to simplify and organize records of their conversations with farmers. This tool will organize notes into a spreadsheet that can be sorted and searched. A report will be generated that can be given to the farmer which captures the conservation conversation.


For farmers that participate in USDA programs or the state Farmland Preservation Program, an approved conservation plan is required. This tool can be used to gather information that will aid in creating that plan. 



This tool is designed to assist individuals working with farmers to improve conservation,  ask the right questions, recommend the right practices, and easily record their conservation notes for recordkeeping purposes. It is composed of three basic components: 

A paper form that users fill-out during their discussion with farmers is designed to guide those with less knowledge of the agricultural production systems and ensure all users ask all pertinent questions. 


Two different forms are available.  A long version includes descriptions of common practices and terms and is designed for users with a basic knowledge of agricultural production.  A shorter version is available for experienced agricultural service providers wanting an easy system to record conversations with farmers. 


The tool includes a mini-library of NRCS factsheets that users can provide to farmers interested in a conservation practices.


The tool includes an easy to use excel file which educates users about common conservation practices while they digitally record information from their conversation with the farmer. 


After the information is entered, the spreadsheet automatically generates a paper report to be given to the farmer which includes a summary of their operation and provides conservation recommendations. 


The spreadsheet automatically organizes the information into a single row that users can copy into an organizational-wide database for record-keeping purposes.   


learn more


All files necessary to use the tool are included in the .zip file above.


Some important notes:

  • You MUST unzip/extract the folder for the tool to work correctly.

  • When opening the Excel Spreadsheet, you MUST enable all Macros for the tool to work correctly

Designed to help users from a variety of experience levels, collect farmer information, recommend practices, and organize all producer records in a simple, easy-to-use list. 

 A long version includes descriptions of common practices and terms and is designed for users with a limited knowledge of agricultural production.

A shorter version is available for experienced agricultural service providers wanting an easy system to record conversations with farmers. 


This project is funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Delaware River Watershed Grant and the William Penn Foundation through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

The Delaware River Watershed Initiative is a cross-cutting collaboration working to conserve and restore the streams that supply drinking water to 15 million people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

This project was completed by North Jersey RC&D with input from NRCS-NJ and other DRWI Partners. 
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