Local input sought for USDA farmbill program

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Submitted to the Spencer Magnet

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a federal program that provides technical and financial assistance to land users to address natural resource concerns.  NRCS is asking for local input for the fiscal year 2013 program.
For fiscal year 2013 EQIP will be administered in Kentucky using four ranking areas across the state.  The ranking areas consist of multiple counties that have been determined to have similar farming operations and resource concerns.  Applicants within each ranking area compete only with others in that ranking area.  NRCS has asked for local input from each of these areas.
A Local Working Group meeting consisting of Spencer, Nelson, Washington, Marion, Taylor  and Green counties is scheduled for November 27th 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Extension Service (211 Progress Rd. Springfield, Ky. 40069), in Washington County.  Recommendations from this group will be provided to NRCS to be used in developing the criteria used to award EQIP contracts during fiscal year 2013.
The Local Working Group was established by the 2002 Farm Bill as a group to provide recommendations to NRCS on local natural resource priorities and criteria for conservation activities and programs.  Originally, this group was limited to governmental representatives, however, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) has now made Local Working Group meetings public meetings and all interested persons are invited to attend.
This is your opportunity to have input regarding the ranking criteria for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.    
For additional information or if you have questions or require special accommodations please contact District Conservationist Suzanne Harris at 502/348-3363.