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Conservation open house set for Thursday

by EVIE SEABERG
Staff Writer | January 10, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Learn more about conservation programs and meet local conservation representatives at a town hall information session free to the public this Thursday.

The event, taking place at the University of Idaho’s Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center, will offer opportunities for local farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners to connect with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other conservation services in the area, NRCS officials said.

The open house format will give interested persons a chance to pop in for individual presentations or specific information. 

The schedule will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 11, starting with presentations about rural development, the Natural Resource Conservation Services, the Farm Service Agency, and Fish and Wildlife Services. Other sessions will include presentations on land trusts and the Bonner County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

Through this event, participants will have the option to register their farm with the Farm Service Agency. 

“All the agencies that will be at the event can offer technical advice and potentially funding sources, like grants, associated with private land conservation,” Cindy Lewis, NRCS conservation team leader said. “We are also hoping this event can help get people pointed in the right direction, as far as who to contact for private land conservation.”

She shared examples such as the Farm Service Agency offering loans for grain storage or the NRCS offering grants to help producers who conventionally till convert to different options. 

Between sessions, Lewis said lunch will be provided by Miller’s Country Store.

“After lunch we will have two producer panels,” she said. “The first panel is a group of producers that has had multiple contracts with NRCS, the second panel will be comprised of producers who have ag land easements, or wetland easements.”

Lewis said she is very thankful and appreciative to the event’s sponsors. Sponsors include University of Idaho Extension for the location, Grain Growers Association for lunch, and both Bonner and Boundary Soil Water Conservation Districts for refreshments and snacks throughout the day.

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