Georgia State Technical Committee
Role of the State Technical Committee and Sub-Committees
State Technical Committees have been and continue to be a vital part of Farm Bill implementation. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) depends on their knowledge and expertise to implement Farm Bill programs that are "locally‐led".
The role of State Technical Committees is to serve primarily as a source of information, analysis, and recommendations to appropriate USDA officials who are charged with implementing the conservation provisions of the Farm Bill.
The Food Security Act of 1985 (1985 Farm Bill) required each NRCS state office to form a State Technical Committee to advise the State Conservationist on a variety of issues and to provide information, analysis and recommendations.
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) amends the 1985 Farm Bill to include identifying additional mandatory members and areas where the Committee must participate and/or provide input during 2018 Farm Bill implementation.
Meetings are open to the public and are held as often as necessary to advise and implement NRCS conservation programs.
Composition of the State Technical Committees
Each state technical committee shall be composed of agricultural producers and other professionals that represent a variety of disciplines in the soil, water, wetland, and wildlife sciences. The technical committee for a state shall include representatives from among the following:
- Natural Resources Conservation Service,
- Farm Service Agency,
- Forest Service,
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture,
- State association of soil and water conservation districts,
- State fish and wildlife agency,
- State forester or equivalent State official,
- State water resources agency,
- State department of agriculture,
- Agricultural producers representing the variety of crops and livestock, or poultry raised within the State,
- Owners of nonindustrial private forest land,
- Nonprofit organizations with demonstrable conservation expertise and experience working with agriculture producers in the State,
- Agribusinesses and,
- State Cooperative Extension Service and land grant university in the state.
State Technical Committee General Guidelines
The NRCS State Conservationist has the responsibility of chairing the state technical committee.
Each state technical committee shall meet regularly to provide information, analysis, and recommendations to appropriate USDA officials charged with implementing the conservation provisions as identified in the Farm Bill. At a minimum the state technical committee meet bi-annually in Georgia.
Each state technical committee shall provide public notice of and permit public attendance at meetings considering issues of concern related to carrying out the responsibilities in the Farm Bill.
Each state technical committee shall advise the USDA officials in establishing priorities and criteria for program implementation, including the review of whether “local working groups” are addressing those priorities, when applicable. The role of state technical committees is advisory in nature, and such committees shall have no implementation or enforcement authority.
Specialized Subcommittees of State Technical Committees
In some situations, specialized subcommittees composed of State Technical Committee members, or invited guests from outside the standing committee, may be needed to analyze and refine specific issues. The State Conservationist may assemble certain committee members, including members of local working groups and other experts to discuss, examine, and focus on a particular technical or programmatic topic, or combination of such. Specialized subcommittees are open to the public and may seek public participation, but they are not required to do so. Recommendations of specialized subcommittees will be presented in general sessions of State Technical Committee, where the public is notified and invited to attend.
Specialized subcommittees in Georgia include:
- Easement Subcommittee,
- Grazing Subcommittee,
- National Water Quality Initiative Subcommittee,
- State Forestry and Wildlife Subcommittee,
- Urban Agriculture Subcommittee.
Subcommittees typically meets quarterly, in between full STC committee meetings, and will be facilitated by a subcommittee chairperson. When the need arises for a subcommittee action, committee members are contacted for assistance.
For information on previous and upcoming meetings, see below. Otherwise, please contact Assistant State Conservationist - Programs, Katura N. Wright.