DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has selected Jarrod Martin as the 2016 Conservation Planner of the Year. Martin, the recently-appointed district conservationist for Merced County, did his award winning work in irrigation water management while serving as a conservationist in Stanislaus County. "Jarrod is an invaluable resource to the Central Valley's agricultural community and was nominated and selected by peers and partners, from a large pool of highly-experienced conservationists throughout the state," said Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist. "Jarrod embodies the model conservation expert - providing voluntary, science-based recommendations and service to agricultural landowners and partners." NRCS helps farmers install higher efficiency irrigation equipment to maintain productivity while conserving water. Martin went beyond the requirements of his job, hosting workshops and field visits, to help farmers master irrigation management principles. This understanding, together with the equipment, allowed local farmers to save between 32 to 40 percent of the water formerly used for irrigation. "This hands-on ability for farmers to understand and manage their resources will help them manage their productivity and destiny into the future," said Suarez. Conservation planners help landowners inventory and understand their natural resources. Planners then provide landowners with scientifically sound options for making landscape improvements. The plans can also be used to apply for federal Farm Bill assistance to implement the recommended conservation practices. More information on Conservation Planning can be found at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/technical/. The award was presented last week during the 71 st annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts' conference in Ontario, Calif. The three-day conference brings together leaders in on-farm conservation to discuss relevant topics, issues and priorities for the coming agricultural season. NRCS is a key supporter of the annual conference. More about their annual conference can be found at http://www.carcd.org/annual_conference0.aspx. Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.