The Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors and staff, and the Maine Association of Conservation Districts Executive Committee have announced that Mark Hedrich of Agricola Farms in Union has been accepted by the National Association of Conservation Districts for entry to their Hall of Distinction in 2022.

Hedrich’s service and contributions span local, state, and national conservation. His volunteer leadership in chairing the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District for multiple decades — 36 continuous years of service — has impacted the local area in many ways. His work has helped with identifying and addressing natural resource priorities, highlighting, and assisting with resource concerns unique to the region. His efforts have supported education and outreach to inform local landowners of services available, funding opportunities, and issues important to landowners of all levels — from recent landowners to beginning farmers to diverse operation property owners/managers.

When not farming in Union, or assisting Knox-Lincoln SWCD or MACD, Hedrich can be found at Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as the Nutrient Management Specialist, where he assists producers with nutrient management planning, solar pasture endeavors, irrigation, and compost management statewide.

In addition, his knowledge of farm operations, resources, permitting requirements, and soil health provide important input and recommendations for creating and updating informational resources, including published documents, brochures, and Best Management Practice guides.

As an expert in carcass composting, Hedrich has assisted in helping the agricultural community on a national level, as well. He is a recognized USDA Compost Subject Matter Expert. As such, he was deployed in 2018 to North Carolina to assist poultry operations recover after Hurricane Florence, where he worked directly with growers to supervise poultry losses (broilers) through composting.

The Conservation District said in a statement, “A member of the Maine Association of Conservation Districts Executive Committee, Hedrich makes recommendations and offers guidance to advance the profile and public awareness of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. With long-range awareness to conservation methods, common sense approach decision making, and skills that provide extensive assistance, Mark Hedrich more than deserves the recognition of the National Association of Conservation Districts Hall of Distinction.”

For more information about NACD and the Hall of Distinction, visit nacdnet.org/about-nacd/nacd-history/hall-of-distinction/ or call Julie at 596-2040 or email julie@knox-lincoln.org.