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Posts tagged: Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA Reaches Out to Farmers with Sweet Conservation Incentives

Pineapples are an iconic crop in Puerto Rico, and they’re emerging again as a popular farming enterprise on the island.

Pineapples are an iconic crop in Puerto Rico, and they’re emerging again as a popular farming enterprise on the island.

NRCS staff members visit with Puerto Rico pineapple farmers in Lajas, Puerto Rico.

NRCS staff members visit with Puerto Rico pineapple farmers in Lajas, Puerto Rico.

Pineapples are emerging again as a popular farming enterprise in Puerto Rico because of a new variety that packs more sweetness and boasts stronger harvests. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working with pineapple farmers to prevent erosion, improve soil health and keep water clean downstream by encouraging them to use conservation practices.

The new variety is the golden pineapple, or Ananas Commosus vra MD2, which produces so much more fruit than the traditional Cabezona pineapple that farm acreage planted in pineapples on the island has doubled from 250 acres in 2011 to 500 acres this year.  Read more »

Outreach with the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network

Throughout Minnesota, women are increasingly responsible for the stewardship of private forestlands, as the number of women owning and managing land across the country increases. To address this trend, the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network (WWN) was formed in 2010. WWN provides resources to women to help them effectively care for and enhance their private forestland.

Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network members visited Camp Vermillion on May 16 for a “Walk in the Woods.”

Read more »

Former Auto Exec Trades Up

Gary and Karen Ricley on their Flying 7 Ranch, Platte County, Wyoming.

Some people have “heaven on earth.”

Have you ever wondered who or what they were talking about?  If you were in Wyoming, it might have been Gary and Karen Ricley and their ranch along Slater Flats.

When Gary was offered an early retirement from his executive job in the auto industry in 1998, he was just 52 years old, so the Denver resident and his wife looked for a new adventure.  They learned about a short section of land for sale in southern Platte County, an area known as Slater Flats.  Read more »

NRCS Gets on the “Goodfoot” with Organic Practices

Beth Hoinacki shows an aspect of her crop rotation and cover crop plan.

U.S. trends in organic farming point to a growing industry. USDA agencies like the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) support organic growers by offering funding and technical guidance—both to farmers already growing organic crops, and to those who want to transition to organic production. Read more »

Extending the Season, Expanding Variety and Growing Locally

healthy plants growing in abundance under the protection of a high tunnel.

I remember when I first moved to Alaska, the only vegetable I ate was potatoes. Fruits and veggies were expensive and weren’t even fresh! Up here, produce is shipped or flown up from the lower 48, and by the time it gets to off-road communities it can be nearly rotten. Plus, the nutritional value of produce declines each day after picking. But now, the last frontier is seeing a paradigm shift in favor of flavor: high tunnels. Read more »

NRCS Helps Preserve Wyoming Ranching Family’s Way of Life with Conservation Easement

A large, family-run ranch in Wyoming was recently placed in permanent conservation easement with the help of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and The Conservation Fund. The efforts of other partners were also key.

Barn: View of one of the homestead ranches now protected by two conservation easements. Photo by Mark Gocke.

Barn: View of one of the homestead ranches now protected by two conservation easements. Photo by Mark Gocke.

The ranch, which is one of the oldest operating ranches held by one family in the Green River Valley, will be permanently protected under NRCS’ Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). The 10,000-acre ranch is actually two homestead properties owned by the Budd-Espenscheid family, near the town of Big Piney, and will be protected under two easements. Read more »