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News Release

USDA Announces Wayne County Local Food Initiative

EAST LANSING, Aug. 21, 2013 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has $150,000 in financial assistance available for the construction of seasonal high tunnels in Wayne County. Seasonal high tunnels are used by producers to extend the growing season for fruit and vegetables.

“Seasonal high tunnels help vegetable and fruit growers increase the availability of locally grown, healthy food while protecting the environment,” said NRCS State Conservationist Garry Lee.

Seasonal high tunnels, sometimes called hoop houses, protect the soil, extend the growing season,  reduce the need for pesticides and reduce the loss of fertilizers through runoff.  High tunnels are made of ribs of plastic or metal pipe covered with a layer of plastic sheeting and are easy to build and maintain. Applications for financial assistance are due by Sept. 6.

Eligible producers selected for financial assistance receive payment after the seasonal high tunnel is installed. Potential applicants can contact the USDA Service Center in Ann Arbor for more information at (734) 761-6722 extension 3.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.