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Reaching Out to Historically Underserved

Reaching Out to Historically Underserved

Here’s What’s Working in Kansas!

Suggestions from NRCS staff across the state:

Build personal relationships.  Know your customer and their families.  Get to know their ag operation and what their emphasis is on.  All of my historically underserved (HU) applications were initiated by a personal contact from me. Dale Younker, District Conservationist, Jetmore

Besides the required publicity in the newspaper, we handed out brochures about the Farm Bill that had HU information in it at the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher’s Conference and the Wichita Farm Show.  I’ve also discussed sign-up opportunities with all five of my watershed boards and conservation district board. Justin Kneisel, District Conservationist, El Dorado

The Oskaloosa Service Center participated in the Small Farmer and HU Outreach Effort that was held up in this area. This was a great event to visit with many of these producers. The organic producers in this area have a tremendous network. Last year when USDA announced the Organic Farming initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), these producers were calling my office to ask about this program. Within 2 weeks I had 24 calls. The use of mass emails was the only way to keep up with moving these producers through the process. Jim Marietta, District Conservationist (retired), Oskaloosa

We have contacted some of the HU clients in Grant County personally to explain our conservation programs. Dennis Wieberg, Supervisory District Conservationist, Ulysses

A Native American producer in the area bought an 80-acre native pasture in the middle of the reservation (not Tribal or Indian land) that she pays taxes on. Three years ago, I referred her to our wildlife biologist because she wanted to do brush management and build a pond. It was my thinking she might qualify for Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). For HU, you have to recognize who and where they are and be persistent. Bruce Yonke, District Conservationist, Holton

We send mail or emails out to them reminding them of our outreach meetings and of programs that might fit them, but I also do the same for all my producers.  We also put up informational and outreach meeting flyers in the community where it reaches all groups.  We also keep a call log with any inquiries and follow-up with these inquiries at the time of sign-up and throughout the year. Keri Morris, Supervisory District Conservationist, Hugoton

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Reaching Out to Historically Underserved (PDF; 185 KB)