BATON ROUGE, LA - The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced four new conservation projects today, two of which will directly benefit the state's rice producers.
"We set out to deliver conservation programs that would work on rice, waterfowl, water quantity, quality, and sustainability, and we've done just that," said Kevin Norton, the NRCS State Conservationist for Louisiana. "This is quite special, bringing big new resources to Louisiana that will translate into real conservation."
The state received approximately $1.5 million for the three state conservation programs, and Norton says the lion's share is going to the Rice Stewardship Program in Southwest Louisiana, proposed collaboratively by Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, and others. That region represents about 70% of rice growing in the state, but rice producers in other areas of the state will be eligible to participate in the national USA Rice-DU RCPP program (see lead story above).
"Rice is good for ducks and conservation is critical," said Alicia Wiseman, Rice Stewardship Program Coordinator for Ducks Unlimited Southern Region. "These programs will help feed people, support families, and provide habitat for waterfowl."
"This is a good day for Louisiana rice producers who are excellent stewards of the land, and play an important role in our state's economy and in helping to feed us all sustainably," said Jeff Durand, a Louisiana producer and co-chair of USA Rice's Conservation Stewardship Partnership who spoke at the event.
The programs are continuing to take shape and develop and all rice RCPP programs are expected to be major areas of discussion at state meetings next month.
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458