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Outreach & Advocacy

Mississippi Outreach Initiative                                

A.  PurposeSara Fleming Outreach    The purpose of NRCS outreach is to establish methods of making our programs and services known and accessible to our target audience, while at the same time, providing those services in a manner that’s consistent throughout the state. According to an earlier Market Research Report on the Socially Disadvantaged Farmer, the historically under-served comprise distinct segments which may require differently tailored services from those provided to the traditional customers of NRCS. 

B.   Target Audiences:     NRCS in Mississippi will continue to provide services to all Farmers, Ranchers, Landowners, Townships, Municipalities and others that need, want and apply for   conservation technical and financial assistance. However, we will also continue to intensify our outreach efforts to provide service to the Historically Underserved (limited resource farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, small Farmers etc). We will also continue our StrikeForce Initiative that places an emphasis on making our programs known and accessible to those in 52 of Mississippi’s counties referred to as “persistent poverty counties. ”

C.  Partnerships:     Mississippi will continue to partner with the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Winston County Self-Help Cooperatives, Wayne County Self-Help Cooperatives, Mississippi Soil and Water Commission, Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, Mississippi State University (1862 Land Grant), Alcorn State University (1890 Land Grant University, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, city and county officials , Faith Based Groups and others.

D.  Communication Plan:   Group meetings, newsletters, internet success stories, videos and visits from the national level comprise a large percentage of our getting the word out to our target audience. Traditional methods of providing information to historically under-served communities can be improved by meeting these groups where they are and at a time that they can meet (Evening meetings for example).

E.  Programs/Services:    Programs and services used will depend on resource concerns needing to be addressed upon private land.  Conservation planning shall occur on all qualified agricultural lands for all eligible clients.  Programs and services provided will be tailored to the client needs rather than acreage amounts.Frank Taylor, Winston County Selp-Help COOP, speaking at a Outreach Field Day in Jefferson County, MS

F.  Goals:      Our goal is to increase participation in our programs….. especially by the historically underserved groups. We can measure our success by the number of obligated contracts as well as the funding amounts by participant type (i.e. LRF, BF, and SD) compared to previous Fiscal Year obligations to specifically address these groups.

G.  Documentation Plan:     Before and after timeline documentation of program, acreage, program participant, and dollars spent makes for an effective internal or external report. MS NRCS will also list perceived barriers provided by public during annually scheduled outreach events  and address these barriers appropriately according to policy and statute.

H.  Resources Needed:     Resource needs include human resources such as current staff, partners, CBO’s etc; funding or financial resources to carry out outreach objectives; in addition, map products of state and counties delineating demographics by race, ethnicity and gender to focus outreach efforts within areas that do not meet parity with 2008 Farm Bill Program participation utilizing reference data from NASS, and the Census Bureau. 

I.  Timeline:    Ongoing as “standard operational procedure. ” (A way of doing business).Also monitor progress with external organizations on a quarterly basis (completion of agreements) as it pertains to progress on agreed to deliverables and monitor field offices on a monthly basis as it pertains to progress made in performance elements related to civil rights in program delivery.

Laura tent outreachHistorically under-served communities, many of whom experience social or cultural isolation, create unique challenges for NRCS.  A sense of insecurity and lack of trust inhibit their participation in resource conservation, even though they are directly affected by land use policy changes.  Along with language barriers, a study done earlier cited financial resources as a major barrier to participation in NRCS programs.  While these research outcomes have not changed, we are still experiencing the effects of social factors that influence implementation of programs. Utilizing the local Community Based Organizations and other partners, as well as local champions in specified areas has and will continue to assist NRCS in overcoming the barrier of trust. Often times, there is a disconnect with the historically underserved customer and information on meetings of Local Work Groups. We must  ensure that District Conservationist posts notices of public meetings well in advance through newsletters, local media outlets, local gathering places and other. Having said the above, the 2008 Farm Bill has more provisions addressing barriers that impede NRCS program participation for small farmers and landowners than any other Farm Bill.

Outreach Success StoriesFlora Pasture party 15

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Outreach Field Days

WCSHC (Winston County Self Help Cooperative) Changing Rural America

Frank Taylor WCSHCFrank Taylor - Winston County Self Help Cooperative

 

 

 

 

 

Mississippi Outreach Contact:

  Chuck Lea Outreach

            

 

 

  

 
 
 
Charles (Chuck) Lea , Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 601-965-5205 EXT 153

Email: charles.lea@ms.usda.gov

 

If you encounter any problems with the files provided on this page, please contact Kavanaugh Breazeale 601-965-5205 EXt 134