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USDA StrikeForce Success Stories


Marshall Handcock, District Conservationist in DeWitt, Arkansas, and Gary Ives, rice farmer in DeWitt, Arkansas, meet to discuss his farm and the irrigation storage reservoir that was installed through the EQIP program.

Arkansas County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Gary Ives

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.

Season high-tunnel hoop house.

Desha County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Ezell Branch Jr.

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.

Soil Conservation Technician Mark Robinson (left) and John and Carla Mitchell.


Drew County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - John and Carla Mitchell

NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds were used to assist John and Carla Mitchell in installing an animal mortality facility incinerator and waste storage facility.

Burthel Thomas, Todd Sewell and Sandra Martin discuss her organic farm and hoop house she is installing through EQIP.

Hempstead County

Sandra Martin - Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Few people get through life without adversity.  How they choose to react to it often determines their future.

Tailwater recovery project site.

Jackson County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Tim and Jill Burzynski

USDA funds will be used to assist with irrigating Tim and Jill Burzynski's crops more efficiently and implementing a tailwater recovery system to reduce groundwater usage.

Streambank after.

Lawrence County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - City of Lynn

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.

Cows grazing on the Kitchen’s farm.

Lafayette County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Tracie and Jeremy Kitchen

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.

Deanna Young (left) and Margaret Lonadier, NRCS district conservationist for Boone and Newton counties, discuss the damage flood water caused to Young’s property.

Newton County

Ponca, Arkansas, Stream Bank Stabilization - Emergency Watershed Protection Program Project

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.

Adam Eades, district conservationist in Pocahontas, Ark., and Stuart Davis, farmer in Warm Springs, Ark., meet to follow-up on progress made in his operation through the EQIP program.

Randolph County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Stuart Davis

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.


Searcy County

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Andy McCutcheon

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.

Lee Pauley (right) discusses his farming operation with NRCS employees Burthel Thomas and Abe Hester.

Sevier County

Lee Pauley - Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Watering 10 acres of vegetables with a garden hose may seem like a daunting task. But for one Sevier County farmer, it was the only way to keep his crops alive.

City of Hughes sewage treatment facility lagoon pond repair, May 6, 2011.

St. Francis County

City of Hughes, Arkansas, Sewage Lagoon - Emergency Watershed Protection Program Project

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.


Arkansas StrikeForce Coordinator
Charlie Williams
Phone: (870) 633-3055, ext. 117

Arkansas Outreach Coordinator
Alvin Peer
Phone: (501) 301-3112