Kelly Snoddy, PFSWCD
Kelly’s favorite riparian plant: Eastern Redbud Tree
How does your work support healthy streamside ecosystems in the James River watershed?
I work closely with agriculture producers and landowners in Buckingham and Cumberland Counties to educate, plan and install conservation practices that improve water quality through the administration of the Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program, funding provided by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
In our rural counties, the majority of practices revolve around excluding livestock from surface waters, improving management practices for pasture health through grazing practices, increasing crop field productivity through efficient nutrient application and cover crop growth.
Outside of executing on-the-ground conservation practices, through my involvement with the Virginia Association of Conservation District Employees, I am dedicated to ensuring that all soil and water conservation district staff across the state receive support and training towards the fulfillment of their duties as they promote the stewardship of our natural resources.
What do you love most about your work?
Every day is a different day and I am constantly learning something new. The soil and water world is very community oriented. This position is very rewarding in that I am able to apply assistance programs at the local level and support our communities through grant funding and education, as well as, make friends/connections from one end of the state to the other (even throughout the Southeastern United States).
What was your journey/career path that led you to the work you do now?
Growing up on a multi-generation beef cattle (cow/calf) and poultry (broilers) farm in Buckingham County cemented my heart in the agriculture/natural resources field. I attended Longwood University, receiving a Bachelors degree in Biology with an environmental science focus. I was unsure of a career choice at the time, I just knew I wanted to be outside.
My summer internship with the Peter Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District opened a door for a career I had not expected. I was introduced to the District through my parents, who had participated in conservation programs over the years. I am very grateful for the opportunity that internship, and now this career, have provided.
What do you value most about the Consortium? How has it positively impacted your work?
The most valuable asset to me from Consortium involvement, is that my partnership network has grown exponentially through this group. On top of that, being part of the Consortium has allowed me to expand my knowledge of “restoration” conservation practices and the inner workings of grant funded projects. The Consortium’s outreach and education efforts are far reaching and impressive.