|Conserving Land for the Future
Chuck Emerson recalls noticing a weed on the property, that he described as a nasty looking weed that had purple thistles with long spikes. Passing by the NRCS office in Bell County, he noticed they had a poster on their door that showed this purple thistle. He went in and introduced himself to Troy Reinke, the local NRCS district conservationist, who educated him on the thistle, and how to deal with it, or he would have a pasture full of it. That discussion transitioned into how Emerson desired to take the plowed portions of their land back to native grasses. “Reinke just started laying out everything the NRCS could do for me to help,” said Emerson. Emerson utilized the conservation technical assistance that NRCS provided to develop his conservation plan for the farm. He also applied for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provided financial assistance for installing the recommended practices in his conservation plan, like planting a multi- species cover crop, treating herbaceous weeds and prescribed grazing.