Middle South Georgia Soil and Water District Meeting updates

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Staff Reports

Cordele Dispatch

TIFTON — The regular monthly meeting of the Middle South Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District was held at the USDA Service Center in Tifton, Georgia on October 4.

Chairman Niewoehner called the meeting to order with the following Supervisors present: Van F. Murphy, Thomas Coleman, Jr., Don Hall, and Dan Niewoehner.

The National Resource Conservation Service Report was given by Craig Bevan. Bevan  reported on CSP renewals and relayed there will be fewer funds for EQIP this year and the deadline for EQIP applications is November 17, 2017.

In Other Business, Bob Hanner of the Environmental Protection Division stated the meter reading will be done by Georgia Forestry starting in November.

Additionally, Stephanie Hollifield was introduced to the Board as an Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent to serve as a liaison and facilitate the sharing of information, Extension programs and resources.

Hollifield will provide the District better access to a range of expertise through the direction of local Extension Agents.

Chairman Niewoehner informed the Board Members of the content of the September 19, 2017 GACD Meeting in Macon, Georgia.

Currently, the GACD Board has hired three employees to assist local Districts. Also, GACD plans on hiring a District Program Assistant (DPA) for each District. This position will be an independent contractor and funding for these positions was provided by a 3-year grant obtained by NRCS. This contractor will be based daily at a designated local NRCS office. Duties of this position will require both NRCS and local District business. Chairman Niewoehner relayed the focus of the GACD meeting was participation of District Supervisors to expand conservation practices on the ground. Each Georgia County has 2 Supervisors; approximately 370 in total. With these strong numbers, finding funding either through the State government or private/public grants should be a task easily obtained. Chairman Niewoehner advised a focus of the GACD meeting was partnerships; NRCS, FSA, the Farm Bureau and Public Utilities, to mention a few. With hard work from local Supervisors, good partnering, and the help from new employees, local  Districts should put sound conservation practices on the ground.

The next district meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at the USDA Service Center in Tifton, Georgia.