Colorado a USDA 2012 StrikeForce state
USDA recently announced Colorado as one of its 2012 StrikeForce Initiative States. The Strike- Force Initiative is designed to better serve persistent poverty communities and socially disadvantaged farmers through the coordination of activities among USDA agencies and the use of Community Based Organizations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado has identified 35 counties as high priority areas for which it will focus its efforts.
StrikeForce allows US- DA to illustrate its commitment to improving access to USDA programs while enhancing the visibility and profitability of small farms and ranches, beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It also provides the opportunity to promote and assist in the development and sustainability of rural communities, recognizing that 90 percent of all persistently impoverished communities are in rural areas.
The initiative will work to provide technical expertise about USDA’s programs, regulations, and criteria in addition to notifying communities of new and updated programs to bring about quality applications for enrollment into technical and financial assistance programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQ- IP) and the Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA), both managed and administered by NRCS.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, agricultural producers may receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land. The CTA program is also a voluntary program that provides technical assistance supported by science-based technology and tools to help people conserve, maintain, and improve their natural resources.
NRCS’ StrikeForce priority areas include: Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Delta, Dolores, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Huerfano, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Logan, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Saguache, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties.
For additional information about the USDA StrikeForce Initiative, please contact Omelia Madison, NRCS outreach coordinator, at Omelia. Madison@co.usda.gov or call 720/544-2826. — WLJ