Thankful for farmers’ commitment to conservation (Keeping the Farm)
(Editor’s note: Genevieve Lister is a state public affairs officer with NRCS, Maryland.)
‘Tis the season for giving thanks, and it’s important we show our gratitude for the farmers who grow the food and fiber we all rely upon while stewarding our natural resources with the utmost.
Local farmers demonstrate their commitment to conservation by partnering with NRCS and enrolling in Farm Bill conservation programs.
In Maryland alone, farmers put more than $12 million of conservation practices on the ground with NRCS’ assistance in fiscal year 2020.
USDA has committed to showing our appreciation for farmers by improving our service to customers.
Farmers.gov was launched in February 2018 to provide digital resources built around the needs of 21st century agriculture through a streamlined, farmer-centered approach.
The newest feature is NRCS’ Conservation Concerns Tool that provides user-friendly, customizable online resources to empower our customers with information to enhance their first visit with local USDA Service Center staff.
With plain language and illustrative photos, the Conservation Concerns Tool provides a walkthrough of more than 40 conservation concerns related to soil, water, plants, animals, energy, and air.
Use the tool to create a list of resource concerns specific to your farm or working forest lands, then download or print your list to share with NRCS staff at a local USDA Service Center.
The Conservation Concerns Tool is built to run on any modern browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari and is fully functional on mobile devices.
Whether you work from your desktop at home or your smartphone in the field, this new tool offers personalized conservation insights to meet the needs of 21st century agriculture.
The harvest season in Maryland is wrapping up, and now is a great time to start planning your conservation goals for next year.
Use the Conservation Concerns Tool to determine what’s most important for your farm.
Are fences positioned for efficient and safe animal movement? Are crop fields showing signs of erosion? Are woodlands being invaded by invasive species?
Once resource concerns have been identified, visit with a local NRCS field office on opportunities for technical and financial assistance to address these concerns.
If you already have a conservation practice in mind that you want to implement on your operation, start the conversation now with a NRCS field office so you can complete the application process and receive approval by the time you’re ready to implement the practice.
At NRCS, we have a proud history of supporting Maryland’s farmers and forest landowners.
I hope the new Conservation Concerns Tool empowers you with the customizable online information to enhance your visit with a local NRCS field office staff, and ultimately keep your working lands healthy and productive for generations to come.
The Conservation Concerns Tool is one way we’re showing gratitude for farmers.
To Maryland farmers, thank you for all that you do! I encourage you to use our new Conservation Concerns Tool to learn about resource concerns specific to your operation, then check the status of your local USDA Service Center and make an appointment to discuss your conservation needs.
You can find the Conservation Concerns Tool and learn about additional USDA resources available for your working land by visiting farmers.gov/conserve.