2018 NRCS Conservation local work group meeting schedule announced

Wisconsin State Farmer

MADISON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin has announced the schedule for 2018 Local Working Group (LWG) meetings.

NRCS works with farmers to apply conservation practices to address a number of resource concerns, including water quality.

Eighteen meetings will be held across Wisconsin in August to gather input and help set priorities for U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs under the Farm Bill.

“Local Working Groups offer a seat at the table for interested individuals and groups to advise NRCS on how best to set priorities and locally implement conservation programs,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. “Members are diverse, with an interest and focus on local agriculture and various natural resource issues.”

Farmers representing a variety of crops and livestock raised within the local area, private woodland owners, representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations, and representatives of other agriculture and natural resource agencies are welcome and should be represented.

Wisconsin LWGs represent two or more counties grouped together by geography, similar land use, resources, and type of agriculture. See a map of Local Working Groups. This will allow greater flexibility and access to funding for the groups.

One of the main programs discussed at the meetings will be the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a federal conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. EQIP offers technical and financial assistance to help landowners with needed conservation practices for water quality, soil health, wildlife and other natural resources. The program was re-authorized through 2018 in the federal Farm Bill, which was passed in February 2014.

Local Working Group meetings are open to the public. Anyone interested in becoming a member in LWGs should contact their local NRCS Service Center.

Northwest Wisconsin

Aug. 1—10 a.m. Thorp Fire Hall, 101 S. Wilson St., Thorp

Aug. 8—9:30 a.m., Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 Cty. G, Ashland

Aug. 8—County Courthouse, 335 E. Monroe Ave., Barron

Aug. 16—Roger Marten Community Center, 120 S. Franklin St., Mondovi

Northeast Wisconsin

Aug. 9—1 p.m. Antigo Public Library, 617 Clermont S., Antigo

Aug. 14—10 a.m. Stanton Mead Education & Visitor Center, S2148 Cty. S, Milladore

Aug. 15—10 a.m., Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St., Shawano

Aug. 15—1 p.m., Jack Day Center, 90 Bay Beach Rd., Green Bay

Aug. 16—10 a.m., Fremont Town Hall, E7403 Hwy. 110, Fremont

Aug. 16—1 p.m., Calumet Co. Courthouse, 206 Court St., Chilton

Southwest Wisconsin

Aug. 1—9 a.m. Belmont Community Center, 222 S. Mound Ave., Belmont

Aug. 1—10 a.m., Sparta Community Center, 1000 E. Montgomery St., Sparta

Aug 2—10 a.m., The Phoenix Center, 100 S. Orange St., Richland Center

Southeast Wisconsin

Aug. 6—10 a.m., Mukwonago Village Hall, 440 River Quest Ct., Mukwonago

Aug. 6—1 a.m., Henry Reuss Ice Age Center, N2875 Hwy. 67, Campbellsport

Aug. 9—10 a.m., Community Center, 102 Rutland Ave., Brooklyn

Aug. 17—10 a.m. Dodge Co. Administration Blg., 127 E. Oak St., Juneau

Aug. 17—1 p.m. Marquette Co. UW-EX Service Center, 480 Underwood Ave., Montello

Contact your local NRCS District Conservationist if you are interested in participating. For detailed information on local work groups, see What are Local Working Groups and see the Schedule of Meetings.