The Jefferson County Conservation District provides conservation programming to all residents of Jefferson County, Kentucky. In some cases, we partner with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services to provide assistance.



Assigning agricultural districts is a preservation program that protects farms from annexation and development. Landowners or groups of landowners who have 250 contiguous acres may apply for the formation of an agricultural district through the District office. 农业地区 must be applied for every 5 years. 

Art & Writing Contest

A statewide competition supported by the KY Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) to encourage students to learn about natural resource concerns by submitting a piece of art or writing. Topics rotate annually between trees, soil, water and wildlife. The contest is open to all local public, private, and parochial schools, as well as homeschoolers. County winners go on to compete at a state level.

Burn Permits

Applications for open agricultural burning are available through our office. Only individuals who are actively farming need to apply.

County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP)

Made possible by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, CAIP is a cost share program that encourages landowners and producers to embrace new, innovative technologies that will improve farm efficiency and productivity while upholding conservation practices. A call for applications is held annually by the Conservation District and a panel judges applications and determines how funding is dispersed.

Cover Crop Giveaway

The Conservation District provides free cover crop seeds to be planted in high tunnels and community gardens. The Conservation District also hosts workshops and training to educate on the importance of cover crops in order to cultivate healthy soil.

Continuous Conservation Reserves Program (CCRP)

The Continuous Conservation Reserves Program allows landowners to enroll eligible acres into a 10 to 15 year program to help address water quality concerns. The incentives for this program include: annual rental payments, bonuses, maintenance fees and cost-share for conservation practices.

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP agreements between USDA-NRCS and the participant generally last from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.

Environmental Education

The Conservation District provides free cover crop seeds to be planted in high tunnels and community gardens. The Conservation District also hosts workshops and training to educate on the importance of cover crops in order to cultivate healthy soil.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The EQIP program is a state funded cost-share program that provides technical, financial and educational assistance to landowners. The target audience for this program is primarily livestock producers who have natural resource concerns that can be addressed through the implementation of soil and water management practices. More than 20 best management practices are eligible for cost-share at a rate of 50 percent and above.


A statewide competition in which students are trained in the ways that real life environmental problems are solved with the support of natural resource professionals. Jefferson County does not currently have an Envirothon team, although we would like to form one, as identified in our long range plan.

Equipment & Infrastructure Loans

Equipment and infrastructure loans are provided to landowners who qualify. These loans have a 1% interest rate for the purchase of heavy equipment used in conservation or infrastructure improvements.

Field Day

Our annual field day provides an opportunity for Jefferson County residents to gain relevant and practical knowledge specific to Jefferson County’s natural resources. Field days provide demonstrations and hands-on learning led by local experts.


The Louisville Urban Invasive Species Removal Program seeks to remove invasive species in a predefined area within Jefferson County. If you live within this area, you can submit an application to receive money to remove invasive species on your property. The Invasive Species Removal Program is made possible through earmarked EQIP funds through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Kentucky State Cost Share Program

Funded by Tobacco Settlement Funds, this program was created by the KY. general Assembly to help agricultural operations protect the soil and water resources and to implement agriculture water quality plans. The program provides up to 75% cost share for landowners to address existing soil erosion, water quality, and other environmental problems associated with their farming or woodland operation.

Louisville Regional Science &  Engineering Fair

The Conservation District participates in yearly judging of the annual science and engineering fair held in Louisville; focusing on categories specific to environmental science, natural resources, agriculture, etc. The Conservation District selects three winners and provides each with a certificate and monetary award. Students in grades 6-12 from 52 Kentucky counties may enter.

Master Conservationist Award

The Master Conservationist Award is the highest recognition award presented to a local landowner for individual land stewardship efforts. Less than two percent of private landowners or farmers are recognized as Master Conservationists. To qualify for this award, the landowner must have completed over ninety percent of their soil and water conservation plan for the land under their control. In doing so, almost all, if not all their land-based natural resources are protected from serious degradation and are managed for sustainability.

Pollinator Seed Giveaway

The Conservation District provides free local and native pollinator seed to County residents at outreach events. This is an effort to increase the native plant diversity in the County, specifically for the benefit of pollinators.

We also manage various pollinator gardens across the city, including in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).

Rain Barrel Workshops

The Conservation District organizes, promotes, and hosts rain barrel workshops for County residents and provides a rain barrel(s) and diverter kits to workshop participants at a reduced rate. Rain barrel workshops are held in different areas of the County to provide residents with access to a rain barrel(s) at a reduced cost and education on how to install a rain barrel. Each workshop includes education on water quality issues related to stormwater with a focus on Jefferson County water resources.

Soil Testing Vouchers

The Conservation District provides vouchers for up to two soil tests a year to interested County residents. Residents are instructed on how to take a soil sample which is then analyzed through the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service (CES). The Conservation District also provides residents with up to one free lead contamination voucher per year.

Technical Assistance

The Conservation District provides direct assistance for all programs, initiatives, and issues involving identified resource concerns in order to assist residents with the implementation of conservation practices on the land they operate. Additionally, the Conservation District also assists with other activities to support the County.


The Conservation District coordinates with teachers in the county to distribute tree saplings to their students to be planted. The District distributes nearly 2,000 native tree seedlings every year. The students of Seneca High School’s FFA program help package trees.

Urban Agriculture Coalition (UAC)

The Conservation District coordinated the Urban Agriculture Coalition with the goal of bringing together agriculture and ecology focused individuals and groups in Jefferson County to create an equitable and resilient food system in Louisville. The UAC supports expanding home and community based food production and distribution, providing agricultural education and resources, and restoring the relationships between our gardens and their communities and ecosystems.

Urban High Tunnel Initiative

The Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides cost-share funding to support farmers who want to extend their growing season and increase crop productivity with the installation of a high tunnel. In partnership with NRCS, the Conservation District provides additional grant funding to cost-share recipients within the Louisville Metro Area to further reduce the cost of a high tunnel and provide supplies for crop irrigation. The Conservation District also provides technical assistance for high tunnel installation, operation, and maintenance.

Urban Homesteading Workshop

The Conservation District partners with the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to provide an introduction to a lifestyle of self-sufficiency in home-grown food production and preservation of food for people living in an urban environment. Participants are instructed on a variety of topics in relation to starting a garden, pest management, soil health, water conservation, raising chickens, food preservation, etc. The workshop is 10 months, meeting twice a month.

Interested in a program?