The forum will be held at 10 a.m. at Huckleberry Hills Farm in Alpine and will serve as a learning experience for those interested in programs offered by USDA-NRCS. It will also serve as an opportunity for residents to increase awareness and participation in funding opportunities offered by the Farm Bill.
“NRCS is trying to get the word out to the people about the services and programs it has to offer them, especially the Environmental Quality Incentive Program,” said Elijah Moore, Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Outreach coordinator.
“We’ll have our local district conservationist Thomas McDaniel there to tell the group about programs and give the people a chance to interact with him. He will address the group and let them know what programs and services are available and what local grants NCRS has to offer them.”
Moore said that NCRS has held programs in Talladega County before, but this forum is the first of its kind in the area.
Several important topics will be discussed at the forum, such as the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentive Program, a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to 10 years.
The forum will also address resource needs or concerns that deal with vegetable production, pastureland, Hoop houses, animal and grazing systems for cattle and goats, forest health and wildlife, community needs and other concerns.
“The Hoop house is one of the programs that the NCRS can cost-share on,” Moore said.
“A Hoop house is similar to a greenhouse except you don’t add the heat to it, it will get heated by the sun and you plant directly into the ground instead of pots and you would use a micro-irrigation system,” he said.
Moore said this system, as well as a system known as plasticulture, will produce three to five times more than the conventional method and will take up a smaller amount of acreage.
“Especially for this Talladega County area, in talking to some of the people their concern basically is that they really want to raise some produce but they were not aware of these programs that we have and the new methods we have for doing it,” Moore said.
“So they’re eager to learn about these systems that we have, like irrigation and plasticulture.”
For more information about Saturday’s forum, contact Elijah Moore at 256-343-3596.
Contact Aziza Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.