A meeting is slated later this month to bring conservation stakeholders together to discuss conservation topics and issues relevant to farmers in Hopkins and Rains counties.
The United States Department of Agriculture Conservation Service office and Hopkins-Rains Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting the 2013 Local Working Group from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, in the conference room at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, 1200B Houston St. Farmers, ranchers, conservationists and others interested in obtaining federal technical and financial assistance to improve private land in Hopkins and Rains counties are invited to participate.
The purpose of the meeting is to set local conservation priorities and to help farmers and ranchers to better conserve on-farm natural resources.
The upcoming meeting will be to discuss and select which practices and resource concerns will be considered higher priority for this area. Local producers are encouraged to voice recommendations for land use or resource concerns that will be considered most in need of attention and the percentage of money channeled to each.
“It is very important that we get the word out to the producers regarding this meeting because once the priorities are set, there is nothing we can do to change them until next year,” said Roxanne Rich, soil conservationist for the Sulphur Springs USDA office.
Updates on recent conservation efforts will be presented. Event sponsors will also collect public input to help guide future conservation activities. This regular identification of opportunities helps secure effective Farm Bill investment to benefit Hopkins and Rains counties.
“This annual meeting will be for producers to learn more about the EQIP, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is a cost assistance program that has helped a number of producers in the area,” said Rich. “Past participants have received cost assistance for things like ponds or pipelines for livestock water to improve rotational grazing, cross-fencing to improve rotational grazing, brush control, grass planting for haying and other practices that are specific for dairy or poultry producers to assist with the disposal of animal waste.”
For more information, contact district conservationist Horace Garvie at 903-885-2933, ext. 3, or visit the NRCS website at http://www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.
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