James River Basin farmers eligible for funding through conservation program

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The James River Basin covers almost a million acres across eight counties.

The land in the basin is used for everything from urban to industrial purposes. For the farmers in the basin who use the land for agriculture, the way they operate their farms affects water quality in the area.

The James River Watershed is now part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The program is an effort to both encourage farmers to explore new techniques, while improving the quality of our soil and water.

Area farmers now qualify for cost-share dollars to fund ways to farm that are more environmentally friendly.

"It's to do things like prescribe grazing systems and repair protections and even some fencing cost shares, so that's really a good way to make farms more profitable and also make the livestock healthier and it's better for water quality too," said Mike Kromrey, Executive Director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

The idea is that funding those green practices will in turn improve the quality of our water and the health of the soil around it. If there's anything you have wanted to try to do on your farm, but never had the funding for it, now is the time to give it a try.

"Anything they can do to help protect and preserve their soil and their land also in turn protects our water quality," said Tiffany Frey, Executive Director of the James River Basin Partnership. "Nutrient management planning can be very beneficial for the farmer, as well as for water, so getting involved in those programs when there's an interest is perfect."

Applications for funds are only being accepted for a limited time. Qualifying farmers have to submit their application to their local USDA Service Center NRCS office by November 18th.

Contact information is as follows:

SPRINGFIELD SERVICE CENTER (Greene County)
688 S STATE HIGHWAY B STE 300
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65802-9109
(417) 831-5246

MARSHFIELD SERVICE CENTER (Webster County)
1202 BANNING ST
MARSHFIELD, MO 65706-2390
(417) 468-2088

OZARK SERVICE CENTER (Christian and Stone County)
1786 S 16TH AVE STE 101
OZARK, MO 65721-9406
(417) 581-2718

NEOSHO SERVICE CENTER (Barry County)
1900 S BUSINESS HIGHWAY 71
NEOSHO, MO 64850