TEMPLE, Texas — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas has funded eight agreements through its Texas Partners for Conservation Program to leverage NRCS resources, address local natural resource issues, encourage collaboration, and develop state and community level conservation leadership.
The agreements are listed below:
The Hill Country Alliance: The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) and partners will work directly with agricultural producers to increase the long-term sustainability of natural resources and agricultural productivity in the Central Texas Hill Country. Through a series of workshops, field days, and other outreach efforts, HCA will raise awareness of best management practices and NRCS funding streams, as well as add technical capacity to advance drought- and flood-resilient land management projects.
National Wildlife Federation: The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will offer a training certification program called “Stewards of the Land” to NRCS staff. The program will focus on habitat restoration in urban areas and will equip NRCS staff with the knowledge to strengthen their outreach and education skills to serve historically underserved clients and increase voluntary participation in conservation throughout Texas. Stewards of the Land will introduce NRCS staff to the major principles and strategies of habitat restoration in urban and suburban areas to increase ecological connectivity. NRCS staff will be equipped to make their conservation programs accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching underserved and socially disadvantaged groups.
GROW North Texas: GROW North Texas will help urban and small producers in North Texas further their understanding of, and familiarity with, NRCS conservation practices and the EQIP program though demonstration conservation practices at local farms. The project will also provide training for NRCS staff on urban and small farm agriculture methods, techniques, operations, and needs.
The City of San Elizario: The City of San Elizario will establish city-wide rain harvesting by expanding access to supplies and technical assistance for farmers, ranchers, and kitchen gardeners within city limits. The city will define what rain harvesting means for San Elizario, will expand the current rain storage capacity for growers, and identify barriers to rain harvesting to ensure that the desert community thrives. The City of San Elizario will track rain harvests at farms and ranches and will share insights with El Paso’s NRCS staff to help them expand rain harvesting on small desert farms. This project will fill a critical need in El Paso as the community seeks to expand its local food print.
Wildlife Habitat Federation: Wildlife Habitat Federation (WHF) will provide education and technical assistance to historically underserved and small acreage landowners through educational events, development of conservation plans and the implementation of practices that enhance ecosystem health through proper management of wildlife habitats and agricultural operations lying within the Colorado River Basin in six counties (Blanco, Burnet, Hays, Llano, Travis and Williamson).
Texas Women In Agriculture: Texas Women In Agriculture will provide innovative outreach education and technical services to assist historically underserved farmers improve, restore or maintain natural resources. Their objectives focus on best management practices that impact improvements in the soil and water quality; provide habitat for local wildlife and pollinator species and improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands. Texas Women In Agriculture actively builds communities and groups that strengthen local food projects and provide healthy food and economic opportunities.
Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers CBO: Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers CBO (TSFR/CBO) will provide outreach, education, and direct assistance to historically underserved producers in both rural and urban areas throughout Texas. TSFR/CBO will collaborate with NRCS specialists and selected partners to conduct knowledge forums and field demos, as well as develop an online video training library for on-demand, self-paced learning that is scalable. In addition, it directly assists historically underserved producers in accessing NRCS and other government technical and financial assistance.
National Association of RC&D Councils: The National Association of RC&D (NARCDC) Councils will engage the next generation of leaders in agriculture and conservation while providing outreach and education to historically underserved farmers and ranchers. With the assistance of nine local Texas RC&D Councils NARCDC will implement a local college intern program focusing outreach and educational efforts on natural resource conservation and participation within the USDA NRCS programs.
For more information about NRCS and its conservation programs, visit NRCS Texas.
–USDA NRCS Texas