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Conservation Corner

NRCS Has a New Website

Mon, August 01, 2011

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to announce their national website has adopted a new look-and-feel and will use a new web content management system. As of August 1, 2011 NRCS’ new website will improve how the agency communicates with the public. With this move, NRCS strives to improve how web users can find and use their vast amount of content.  In order to access or view, simply visit

Organization of Content & Consolidation

The new NRCS website will organize content by subject, such as Soil, Water, and Air. Visitors can search for information about subjects by name, as opposed to having to navigate through countless program or division pages. In the past, if a website visitor wanted to know how NRCS works to improve our nation’s water resources, they essentially had to visit the National Water Management Center website, the Water Quality and Quantity website, and the Wetland Science website to gather information. Now, they can simply go to the NRCS homepage and click on “Water.” NRCS consolidated 12 separate NRCS websites into one.


NRCS has improved the site’s search capability, giving users an advanced search capability to better define what they seek.  As for new features, if you want to stay up to date on the latest NRCS news, the new site has an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feature. This allows you to receive news releases through the email or RSS reader, such as other free popular ones. The public can also provide feedback through the new website feedback forms, which can be found in the “Contact Us” section of the new site.  NRCS will still have a “Programs and Services” section, where in-depth information about the Farm Bill and other financial and technical assistance programs can be found. The “Technical Resources” section remains as well. Users can find special content in the new “People” section, which includes information for employees, volunteers, and partners.

The Future of NRCS Websites

The Illinois NRCS site—and all other NRCS state websites—will move to the new web content management system over the next 12-18 months. In addition, NRCS Soils center website and Water and Climate Center website will move to the new web system.  Even with the new national NRCS website, improvements will continue to be made over the coming months. NRCS wants their website to communicate in the best way possible to core customers and the general public, so that everyone can take advantage of the data, technical help, and financial help NRCS provides.

Helping People Help the Land

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Hispanic or Female Farmers/Ranchers Note

Tue, June 14, 2011

This is a notice for Hispanic or Women Farmers/Ranchers.  If you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic, or because you are female, you may be eligible to apply for compensation.  You may be eligible if:

1. You sought a farm loan or farm-servicing loan from USDA during that period; and

2. The loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, approved with restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide an appropriate loan service; and

3. You believe these actions occurred because you are Hispanic or female.

If you want to register your name to receive a claims package, you can call the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or access the following website:


In 2011,  a Claims Administrator will begin mailing claims packages to those who have requested one through the Call Center or website.  This claims package will have detailed information about the eligibility and claims process.

In order to participate,  you must submit a claim to the Claims Administrator by the end of the claims period. 

If you are currently represented by counsel regarding allegations of discrimination against USDA or in a lawsuit claiming discrimination by USDA, you should contact your counsel regarding this claims process.

USDA Cannot provide Legal Advice to you. 

You are not required to hire an attorney to file a claim, but you may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider in your community for additional guidance.



Deer & Turkey Classic

Sat, March 26, 2011

I spent Friday evening at the Deer and Turkey Classic.  It was an enjoyable evening, despite getting there late.  Better late than never.  I bought a two day pass so I can go back.  However today is the wife’s 29th birthday.    So trying to juggle that with the Show.  This is the first Classic I have been to.  Never bothered to travel to Bloomington for those over there.  A event really worth the price to get in. 

I lost track of how many gun raffles I entered starting at the Pheasants Forever booth.  This is where fellow IL River Valley Chapter members and I discussed our recent food plot seed distribution and plans for more.  Nick Ripley,  president and Ken Daniels treasurer were in attendance helping man the booth.  PF has two of their Farm Bill Biologists Brandon Beltz and Brady Wooten manning the booth and offering habitat planning advice to landowners.  For landowners wanting to improve their properties this is a good way to start out.  No financial cost for planning advice from them.

The checkbook kept coming out as I joined National Rifle Association and recieved a T shirt for joining.  Then I gave a gal an email address and recieved a nice NRA bag to carry all the goodies in.  That was handy.  Then over to the Illinois State Rifle Association Booth where I also signed up for membership. 

Chase Burns signed me up for a workshop down in Astoria in July with Dr. Grant Woods.  Nate Herman has talked about this on his blog.  Sure sounds interesting and so out came the checkbook again.  West Central Illinois Quality Deer Management is having a Forestry day later details not available at the moment. 

A lot of nice deer heads were there along with a trailer that had a live grizzly, black bear, gray wolf,  and mountain lion in heat pacing and squealing for attention.  It only cost a buck to see the animals.  Well Worth it.  However Kole was not with me.  I did not get enough time to see the free agent thing. 

There is some interesting booths that are black curtains and have security guards standing outside.  Girls standing outside the booth too.  Signs say Adults only.  ????  However there is other signs not too visible saying it has to do with tobacco.   

This Classic is going on today and sunday til 4.  Make sure you take the time to go see this event.