Every day is Earth Day on Missouri farms, ranches

At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we celebrate Earth Day 2019 by thanking farmers and ranchers here in Missouri for all they do. Every day we see their efforts to conserve natural resources while producing food, fiber and fuel for people in their communities and around the world. They are doing what needs to be done to make sure we all enjoy the benefits of clean and plentiful water and healthy soils, ecosystems and wildlife habitat.

This year’s Earth Day theme, “Protect Our Species,” highlights the responsibility we share in supporting wildlife. Two-thirds of the land in the continental United States is privately owned, and the decisions that farmers and ranchers make for their land can impact wildlife.

We at USDA believe people and wildlife can thrive together. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service assist agricultural producers with adopting conservation practices that benefit not only farms, ranches and forest lands but wildlife species.

USDA offers a wide array of Farm Bill programs to help Missouri farmers and ranchers make wildlife-friendly improvements to cropland, grazing lands and working forests, as well as benefit agricultural operations. Programs include the Conservation Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. USDA also offers free conservation advice as well and financial assistance to help implement conservation practices.

Farmers, ranchers and forest land owners throughout Missouri have voluntarily been implementing conservation on the land under their care and making management decisions to protect the natural resources — soil, water, animals, plants, air and energy — on which all life depends. Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, along with other USDA agencies and the many local and state partners that work with us throughout this great state, are honored to have the opportunity to assist Missouri’s agricultural producers. We know that profitability and care for the land can be compatible. We are pleased to be able to help farmers and ranchers do what is good for them, natural resources and society.

If you farm or ranch, we encourage you to reach out to your local FSA and NRCS representatives at your nearest USDA service center to see if there is a program right for your operation. Find your nearest office at farmers.gov/service-locator.

If you’re not a farmer or rancher, on this Earth Day please thank one for the work he or she does to put food on our tables and to conserve our natural resources and support our nation’s wildlife.

Brent Hampy is the state executive director of Farm Service Agency. J.R. Flores is a state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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