By: Dana Rogge, Public Affairs and Outreach Specialist, Missouri FSA
Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts gathered this past weekend in Kansas City for the 2016 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic. The annual event draws hunters, farmers and landowners interested in land conservation for improving wildlife habitat.
Staff from Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) were on hand throughout the event to visit with attendees about FSA programs and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the nation’s largest and most successful voluntary federal conservation program – the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
CRP is a federally-funded voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally-sensitive land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation benefits. CRP participants establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.
Outdoorsmen and women and agricultural landowners stopped by the FSA booth to ask last-minute questions regarding the 49th enrollment period for CRP, which ends Friday, Feb. 26. FSA employees explained how various CRP practices can enhance habitat for pheasants and quail, in addition to attracting pollinators.
It is estimated that nearly 24,000 people attended the annual event. The 2017 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
For an interactive tour of CRP success stories from across the U.S., visit www.fsa.usda.gov/CRPis30, or follow on Twitter at #CRPis30. For more information on FSA conservation initiatives, visit a local FSA office or www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.