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Carol DeYoung
Broome, New York

Photo by Carol DeYoung

Carol DeYoung owns 100 acres of land and manages 125 more in southern New York. She and her family raise beef cattle and pigs on the property they own and sell hay grown on the land they manage. When Carol decided to install fences to keep her cattle out of her streams, she called her local Farm Service Agency office for help.

In 2006, Carol worked with the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a 40-acre conservation project on her property, including streamside fencing, riparian buffers and open-water wildlife habitat. She enrolled her land in the Conservation Reserve Program, which covers 75 to 90 percent of a project’s cost (depending on the conservation practices put in place) and provides an annual rental payment. Carol signed a 15-year contract, and plans to re-enroll at the end of her term.

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Laneways and fencing keep Carol’s cows out of the streams on her property. (Photo by Carol DeYoung)
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Crossings allow Carol’s cows to drink from a stream without walking in it. This keeps the water clean. (Photo by Carol DeYoung)

Carol has a strong interest in conservation and a good relationship with her local wetland planners. Her son, David, said the Farm Service Agency was “super easy to work with, and they were happy with the project.”

“I see the benefits of the wetlands for wildlife. The sides of the streams and ponds aren’t beat up from the cows, and I see that the water is cleaner.”
- Carol DeYoung

A wide variety of wildlife visit Carol’s property, including ducks, minks and muskrats. “During migration season, we have a phenomenal number of [bird] species flying through,” Carol said. David works to restore wetlands as a private contractor, and said growing up here had a huge influence on his life. Both mother and son love being able to walk out their back door to enjoy the wildlife that call this property home.

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Riparian buffers act as wildlife habitat and a windbreak. (Photo by Carol DeYoung)
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