Agriculture Secretary Applauds Champions of Soil, Water Resources

Agriculture Secretary Russell ReddingCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE, PA — Thursday, at PennState’s annual Ag Progress Days, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding recognized six individuals and two county conservation district boards with 2020 and 2021 Conservation Excellence Awards. On behalf of the State Conservation Commission (SCC), Redding presented Distinguished Service and Training Excellence Awards to current and retired county, state and federal employees from Bedford, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lycoming and York counties. He presented Leadership Excellence Awards to the boards of the Montgomery and Washington County Conservation Districts.

“These awards represent several lifetimes of work contributing to our quality of life together, the long-term health of our region’s water and soil, and the sustainability of our agriculture industry and our communities,” Secretary Redding said. “I cannot understate the value of their work to protect and improve our water and soil and cultivate management practices that will safeguard our future. Individually and collectively, their careers have fed Pennsylvania’s future.”

Awards presented were as follows:

SCC Distinguished Service Award

  • 2020 – William J. Kahler, PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) retired, Lycoming County
  • 2020 – Steven Wm. Taglang, DEP retired, Cumberland County
  • 2021 – Lorelle Steach, PA Envirothon Coordinator retired, Bedford County
  • 2021 – Douglas Goodlander, DEP retired, York County

SCC Leadership Training Excellence Award

  • 2020 – Nancy R. DiFiore, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Assistant State Conservationist, Lycoming County
  • 2021 – C. Frederick Fiscus III, DEP retired, Lancaster County

SCC Leadership Excellence

  • 2020 – Montgomery County Conservation District Board
  • 2021 – Washington County Conservation District Board

Awards recognized a wide range of career achievements including fostering farm management practices that prevent erosion and improve soil and water quality; advancing storm and wastewater management in communities and industry; and educating and inspiring youth through the annual statewide Envirothon competition.

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The SCC is a 14-member commission working to ensure the wise use of Pennsylvania’s natural resources and to protect and restore the natural environment through the conservation of its soil water and related resources. The commission provides support and oversight to the state’s 66 county conservation districts.

Learn more about the State Conservation Commission and available tax credits, grants and initiatives to boost conservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources on and off the farm at

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