Ag News

NRCS Chief Matt Lohr tours Georgia Farms

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) chief Matt Lohr took a two-day tour through Georgia on June 3 and 4, visiting with USDA and NRCS staff and visiting six different farms.

Lohr, a Virginia native, saw conventional row crop and livestock farms and closed out the trip with a stop at an urban farm in Atlanta.

“Georgia agriculture is very diverse,” Lohr said during a stop at the farm of American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall in Greene County. “There are lots and lots of different types of operations and practices, but they all are partners with NRCS. It doesn’t matter the operation or the type of agriculture, there’s always a place for good conservation.”

Lohr said that the agency spends about $8 million a day implementing its various programs, but through volunteer partnerships with farmers, the NRCS creates many times that value in conservation.

“We can’t do it alone,” Lohr said. “This trip is about being able to visit and hearing about the agreements that are in place and the work that’s being done,\ and looking for how we can improve that going forward.”

The tour was done at the request of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), Lohr said.

“We just wanted to share with the chief on a firsthand basis the grassroots efforts of conservation that are being put on the ground all around the state,” said GACD President Woody Snell.

Duvall shared some of the ways NRCS has helped on his farm, including installing water troughs and implementing rotational grazing and weed control practices.

These things and others, Duvall said, couldn’t have been done “without the help of NRCS and being a partner with them to help us protect natural resources. That’s what it’s all about.”