The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA), along with the Washington State Conservation Commission (WSCC), teamed up Feb. 10 and 11 to bring Eastern Washington wheat growers the latest incentive programs and Climate-Smart information available for, and supporting, their operations.
More than 50 producers attended the two events, which were hosted by the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) as Agricultural Marketing and Management Organization (AMMO) workshops.
“Events like this are really important to help producers understand the wide range of programs and initiatives available to them,” said Roylene Comes At Night, NRCS Washington state conservationist. “By working together with the wheat growers and other producers across the state, we can build climate-smart solutions that improve their operations’ resilience and profitability and open new market opportunities.”
The veteran state conservationist, with more than 32 years with the NRCS, opened the workshops by discussing Climate-Smart Agriculture and the various practices and principles. Then, Alison Halpern, the scientific policy advisor for the WSCC, provided an overview of the new Washington Sustainable Farms and Fields grant program. Travis Martin, a district director with FSA, followed with a status of programs with an emphasis on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Finally, after lunch, Greg Zwicke, an NRCS air quality engineer, and Dr. Adam Chambers, the NRCS’s national environmental markets specialist, discussed Carbon Farm Planning and the COMET Farm and COMET Planner tools.
“We greatly appreciate the time all of these agencies have taken to provide our members with this information,” said Lori Williams, WAWG outreach coordinator. “Having these experts take two days out of their busy schedules is not lost on us. It was a great event, and I’m sure the producers walked away with a lot of helpful information.”