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NRCS Participates in 2011 Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Business Merdcado

Story by Hilari Vargas, Intern for USDA-NRCS in Lubbock

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) participated for the first time in Lubbock's Third Annual Business Mercado in an attempt to reach out and connect more with the Hispanic business and agriculture community.

At the recent event, 40 Hispanic and non-Hispanic owned businesses and organizations packed the Civic Center exhibit hall to promote and celebrate the Lubbock Hispanic business market. Upwards of 900 people attended the event.

NRCS exhibited and provided conservation outreach, educational materials, and natural resources handouts including information about the Hispanic and Women Settlement Claims process to local producers and urban residents. This information was presented in Spanish and English. The "Estimating Soil Textures and Pollinator" guides were also available in Spanish.

The booth was constantly busy with people asking questions about who NRCS is and what they do to assist people on the land. Plenty of information was available to interest the many people who came by the booth.

Businesses such as Carino's Italian Restaurant, Montelongo's Mexican Restaurant, Bodyworks, legal services, banks, and many other participants joined in the festive event and provided samples of their signature foods. The center was filled with conversation, Spanish music, and the smell of brisket, chicken, and other delicious Mexican foods.

Each booth was covered with promotional items and informational pamphlets and fliers. Those representing each business ranged from producers to local business leaders and college students. The Mercado was open to anyone interested in setting up a booth and having fun while networking for business.

Participants and those that came to the Mercado socialized and did plenty of networking while enjoying delicious food. Hundreds of business cards were exchanged by the end of the day.

The 2011 Business Mercado was a success and is a great opportunity for the NRCS and anyone wanting to connect with the Hispanic business market and other residents of Lubbock.

Plans are already being made for next year's event which promises to be just as exciting. More information about the 2012 Business Mercado can be obtained through the Hispanic business division of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

Hilari Vargas, intern for USDA-NRCS Hilari Vargas, intern for USDA-NRCS

Hilari Vargas, intern for USDA-NRCS provided education information and conservation handouts to Mercado attendees during the third annual event sponsored by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.