USDA Announces Environmental Quality Incentives Program Sign-Up Deadline to address the StrikeForce Initiative in 25 Counties in Arkansas News Release - Application Deadline is April 19, 2013
Arkansas is one of three pilot states participating in the USDA StrikeForce Initiative. The initiative is designed to help relieve persistent poverty in high poverty counties by accelerating USDA assistance while working closely with Community Based Organizations.
Strike Force is helping us direct needed USDA resources to individuals and communities in Arkansas’s 25 Strike Force counties. The counties are:
Gary Ives purchased an 1,189 acre farm in DeWitt, Arkansas in 2008. The Ives’s family has successfully installed a tail water recovery system along with an 80-acre irrigation storage reservoir with Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds.
Ezell Branch Jr., a retired teacher from Watson, Ark., has enrolled 12 acres of cropland in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). A water well was installed to help reduce the risk of crop loss from droughts. Since the completion of his project, Mr. Branch has planted okra, sweet corn, tomatoes, peas and other alternatives crops.
Heavy rains in April 2011 severely eroded the streambank adjacent to the city of Lynn, Ark. causing failure to cities sewer pumping station, water main and City Street. Thanks to the NRCS’s Emergency Watershed Program and a 90 percent cost-share, the city of just over 300 people in Lawrence County was able to get the damage repaired.
Tracie and Jeremy Kitchen have an 80 acre farm near Lewisville. Prior to their knowledge of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), they found it hard to effectively graze their farm. With NRCS’s help they were able to take their ideas and begin building a rotational grazing system.
Although raging waters had subsided at Deanna Young’s home in Ponca, Ark., a flood of emotions hit her when she found out the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would pay 100 percent of the cost of protecting her home from falling into Adds Creek.
A Randolph County man with the long-term goal of broadening people’s perception of what it means to “live off of the land”, was finally afforded the chance to add the one ingredient that would allow him to launch his own campaign – an adequate water source.
After retiring from the Air Force as a recruiter, Andy McCutcheon returned to his home county of Searcy to start farming. Thanks to the Natural Resources Conservation Service staff at the Marshall Field Service Center and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) McCutcheon is restoring an 80-acre farm to run registered Limousin cattle.
Excessive rainfall in Arkansas severely stressed many infrastructure facilities in the City of Hughes. When flood water damaged the city’s sewage treatment facilities and the lagoon ponds began to breach, Charlie Williams, the Arkansas Strike Force Leader and NRCS employee, encouraged them to use the Emergency Watershed Protection Program to prevent total failure.