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USDA Agencies Unite to Protect Natural Resources

By Don Comis
October 4, 2000

BELTSVILLE, Md., Oct. 4--Three Agriculture Department agencies are broadening their partnership to better protect the environment.

The three agencies--the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service--on Monday signed a Memorandum of Agreement to intensify their efforts to conserve natural resources and identify solutions to the environmental problems facing agricultural land managers.

"We want to ensure that we develop research and technology responsive to present and emerging customer needs and national priorities," ARS Administrator Floyd Horn said. "The agreement signed by the leaders of these three agencies formalizes the roles of each in contributing to the common goal of protecting the American landscape."

The Natural Resources Conservation Service works closely with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners to conserve the nation's soil and water resources. The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service funds university research and conducts outreach work with farmers and the general public. The Agricultural Research Service is USDA's chief scientific research agency.

"The increased cooperation will allow us to speed the transfer of necessary research knowledge and technology tools to our field offices and customers. This includes automated tools that help managers keep soil and excess nutrients out of our Nation's waters," NRCS Chief Pearlie Reed said.

The Memorandum of Understanding can be viewed on the World Wide Web at:

Contact:Dr. Allen Dedrick, ARS National Program Staff, Beltsville, Md., telephone (301) 504-7987; fax (301) 504-4624;