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News Release

USDA NRCS Announces StrikeForce

USDA Brings Strike Force to North Carolina

Release No. 0024.13
Contact Stuart Lee - 919.873.2107

Raleigh, N.C. March 27, 2013– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development are joining forces to spread the word about the department’s StrikeForce outreach initiative. The initiative aims to help relieve persistent poverty in high poverty counties and historically underserved farmers by accelerating USDA assistance while working closely with community-based organizations to communicate opportunities available through the Farm Bill.

StrikeForce is already at work in North Carolina. NRCS and partners announced a $1.2 million grant to help minority landowners in North and South Carolina improve privately owned forestlands. Over the next 30 months, the grant will support more than 50 African American landowners in North Carolina in their efforts to improve their forested lands. Specifically, NRCS will provide assistance for conservation planning and assist eligible landowners implement conservation practices such as forest stand improvement, tree and shrub planting, prescribed burning and fire breaks.

“This grant is what Strikeforce is all about,” said NRCS Acting North Carolina State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph. “The landowners that this grant will help are in economically depressed counties, where land retention is challenging, having the resource to make necessary land stewardship improvements is difficult, and having a full understanding of the resources available to help is deficient -- USDA and our partners will work together with these landowners to overcome these obstacles.”

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps America’s farmers and ranchers 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.

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