FFA celebrates at Chelan High School
A National FFA Week celebration will include a public ceremony for Greenhand and Chapter FFA degrees.
The event will start at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Chelan High School library.
The program will welcome 23 first-year, or Greenhand, members to the Chelan FFA. 25 second-year members will receive Chapter degrees The annual meeting of the Chelan FFA alumni will immediately follow the ceremony. At the conclusion of the meeting, there will be a reception in the CHS commons for alumni and FFA members.
For more information, contact Rod Cool or Mikiya Stowe at 682-4061 Ext. 129 during school hours.
Preservation program deadline nears
March 4 is the application deadline for several conservation and easement programs, including the Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP).
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking proposals from local, state and federally recognized tribal governments and non-governmental organizations interested in acquiring conservation easements on farms and ranches. The program offers a way to keep prime farmland in agriculture use and, at the same time, keep farming and ranching communities thriving by relieving development pressures.
Individuals interested in applying for 2011 funding should contact their local USDA-NRCS service center office.
To find your local service center or for applications and scoring criteria, go to nrcs.usda.gov
NRCS-FRPP seeks comments on rule
NRCS recently issued a Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program final rule which will make protecting important farm and ranch lands easier. Earlier this year, NRCS released the National Resources Inventory, which reported that 40 million acres of agricultural and forested land — 1.6 million acres per year — were developed between 1982 and 2007.
With land being taken out of production at its current rate, NRCS sought advice from landowners and partners on simplifying the easement process. The final FRPP rule reflects the input. Under the final rule, partners or certified cooperating entities can now purchase development rights from a landowner through a streamlined process. Changes to the rule will make it possible for more entities to be certified and give them greater flexibility to manage the easement process.
The final rule is now in effect. However, NRCS is providing an additional 30-day public comment period for the changes made to the easement process. Comments can be submitted through Feb. 23 to Mark Rose, FRPP Program Manager, Easement Programs Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Post Office Box 2890, Washington, D.C. 20013; Fax: (202) 720-9689; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the final rule, go to regulations.gov or the Federal Register at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
For more information about NRCS conservation programs, visit nrcs.usda.gov, or go to your nearest USDA Service Center.
Hay growers set for annual meeting
Mid-Columbia Basin Hay Growers’ Association annual conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the ATEC Building (1800) at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.
Lunch will be served and is included in the registration fee of $10. Topics include insights into the local and state factors affecting agriculture inputs and markets and how farmers might adapt changes.
For more information, or to register for the conference, call Laurie at the WSU Grant-Adams Area Extension office at 754-2011, Ext. 413.
Lori Didricksen: 665-1164