Updated: Nov 26, 2022
Farmers, ranchers, agricultural educators, affiliated partners and the general public are invited to discuss funding priorities for agricultural operations for fiscal year 2024.
The annual Local Working Group meeting is set this year for Tuesday, Nov. 29 at the facility of one such affiliated partner, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association in Dover, at 13138 Lewis Gallagher Road.
The meeting is presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, in collaboration with the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD). See information flyer below.
“The purpose of the Local Working Group is to invite individuals from the agricultural community, as well as the public at large, to discuss and analyze funding priorities for agricultural operations,” said HSWCD Executive Director Betty Jo Tompkins. “These are priorities that NRCS uses to determine what percentages of budgeted money goes into each area of operation.”
The money funded comes from taxpayers and flows through the federal government. Money in the past has been earmarked and/or considered for such things as grazing, cropland, water conservation, forestry, wildlife, invasive plants and brush and herbaceous weed control.
“The money is for very specific programs, projects and activities that enhance soil and water conservation, which is why the conservation districts play an integral role in this process, to try to determine the most effective and efficient uses of public funds to support our agricultural interests,” Tompkins said.
Conservation districts nationwide “have a vested interest in making sure that we protect the natural resources of this country because without quality soil and good, clean, quality water, we have no way to produce the food that is critical both to the United States and the world,” Tompkins said.
The process for determining funding priorities “is open to all of the public,” Tompkins added, “and it’s a great opportunity for people to get a better idea of criteria we review and the areas we address that we believe are critical to fulfilling the responsibilities and needs of agricultural interests.”
For more information, contact Betty Jo Tompkins at 813-477-8332. Email:email@example.com.