Role of State Technical Committees and Sub-Committees
State Technical Committees have been and continue to be a vital part of Farm Bill implementation as NRCS depend on local knowledge and expertise to implement Farm Bill programs to ensure the process remains “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 the formation of State Technical Committees to advise NRCS on a variety of issues. However, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) amended the 1985 Farm Bill to identify additional mandatory members and designate multiple areas where the State Technical Committee shall be involved in or consulted on during 2018 Farm Bill implementation.
Composition of 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:
(1) Natural Resources Conservation Service,
(2) Farm Service Agency,
(3) Forest Service,
(4) National Institute of Food and Agriculture,
(5) State fish and wildlife agency,
(6) State forester or equivalent State official,
(7) State water resources agency,
(8) State department of agriculture,
(9) State association of soil and water conservation districts,
(10) Agricultural producers representing the variety of crops and livestock
or poultry raised within the State,
(11) Owners of nonindustrial private forest land,
(12) Nonprofit organizations with demonstrable conservation expertise and
experience working with agriculture producers in the State,
(13) Agribusinesses and,
(14) State Cooperative Extension Service and land grant university in the state.
State Technical 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 South Carolina.
• 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.
Next STC Meeting:
January 18, 2023
The South Carolina USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will host the next State Technical Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., location TBD.
Chaired by NRCS State Conservationist Ann English in South Carolina, this committee provides recommendations on a number of issues concerning Farm Bill program delivery. Committee membership includes representatives from federal and state conservation agencies, agricultural producers, nonprofit organizations and agribusiness. The meetings are open to the public.
*If there are agenda items you wish to propose, please do so in writing to SC NRCS State Conservationist Ann English, with a detailed description of the subject you will present for discussion. Presentations are limited to ten minutes maximum. Please submit by Wednesday, January 4, 2023 to Terry Kelly, State Resource Conservationist at email@example.com, or Michelle Alexander, Administrative Support Assistant at Michelle.firstname.lastname@example.org.