Chowan Basin 
Soil & Water 
Conservation District

Current News and Events

Help our District celebrate its 70th anniversary!!!

The J.R. Horsley Soil and Water Conservation District was organized in 1945 as part of a nationwide initiative to encourage soil conservation. In the 1930's, drought conditions, widespread poverty, and outdated farming practices had caused soil erosion to increase to unbelievable levels. This became known as the "Dust Bowl", and displaced tens of thousands of people. Some dust storms were so severe that they destroyed homes, killed people and livestock, and buried vehicles. When President Franklin Roosevelt took office, he created several programs and new agencies in response to the Great Depression. One of these agencies was the Soil Erosion Service, later called the Soil Conservation Service, and renamed again as the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This agency provided assistance to farmers and landowners suffering from soil erosion.   

In the years that followed, Soil and Water Conservation Districts were created to provide a link between government agencies and the public. Districts have a Board of Directors elected by voters in the areas they represent, and staff who work with the public. District staff meet with producers, create conservation plans, provide technical assistance, administer cost-share, and provide public education and outreach. In rural areas, staff work primarily with farmers and landowners, while in urban areas, staff work with local government and businesses. Local, State, and Federal employees work with District staff to provide the best possible customer service. 

In 2004, J.R. Horsley changed its name to the Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District. Today, the District serves Greensville, Southampton, and Sussex Counties and is based in Emporia, VA. The Board of Directors meets monthly, and meetings are open to the public. The three employees are available on weekdays and can provide information, assistance, and customer service. For 70 years, the District has been helping local residents practice good stewardship of the land!


Per the 2016 Cost Share Manual: 

SL-6 practices will now be reimbursed at 80%. Participants will be responsible for paying 20%. There will be a $70,000 cap for cost-share. Multiple SL-6s may be funded, within the $70,000 cap. For example, a participant could have two $30,000 SL-6s within the same program year, because the total cost is still less than $70,000. Participants who have reached the $70,000 may not receive cost-share funds for any other practice in the same program year. Participants who signed up BEFORE June 30, 2015 will still receive 100% reimbursement. Participants MUST begin construction or negotiate a signed contract with a contractor within 90 days of approval for cost-share payment.  

A copy of the specifications is available below: