NRCS Part of Annual Back to School Health & Social Services Fair
story by Jaime Tankersley
The Texas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was part of the 6th Annual Back to School Health and Social Services Fair held in Eagle Pass. The event was held as part of the Health and Human Services Commission’s Colonia Initiative to benefit children and families of Maverick County.
Representatives from health and human service agencies, medical professions, and local community organizations provided free health screenings, information handouts, and other healthy and fun activities for the over 3,400 in attendance.
The July event took place at the City of Eagle Pass International Center for Trade and was a key source in educating colonia residents about local services.
Local NRCS staff set up an educational booth to bring knowledge and information about Farm Bill Programs, technical assistance, financial aid, and the newly added USDA Strikeforce Initiative.
The Strikeforce Initiative is a plan that develops a unit of knowledgeable, Agency staff experts to work with existing USDA Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in a collaborative effort to aggressively take USDA programs into poverty persistent counties.
USDA is establishing a sound footing in many socially disadvantaged communities along the Texas border; specifically targeting El Paso, Presidio, Jeff Davis, Maverick, Webb, Duval, Jim Wells, Starr, and Hidalgo Counties.
The working poor in persistent poverty communities and minority farmers have rural community and farming needs that are going to be identified and addressed. For persistent poverty communities, problems and lack of resources are creating more problems. Whether it is underserved sewer and drainage infrastructure needs or community/public needs, such as school, library, police, and fire resources; quality of life and community development abilities are limited.
The annual health fair is an example of how timely access to appropriate USDA resources can present additional aid for farmers already at a socioeconomic disadvantage.
If you have any questions or would like additional information about the Texas NRCS Strikeforce Initiative, contact Bertha Venegas at 830-249-2821.
A line forms early as participants eagerly await the doors to open to the Eagle Pass Annual Back to School Health Fair.
NRCS District Conservationist, Serafin Aguirre, explains the assistance available under the new USDA-NRCS Strikeforce Initiative during the Eagel Pass Back to School Health Fair.