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RCS Alabama Announces Drought Funding

 

Eligible Landowners with Grazing Lands Encouraged to Apply

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2017 – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced that the agency is providing funding to assist landowners impacted by last year’s extreme drought. Agricultural producers statewide suffered losses from months with low rainfall. Eligible landowners are encouraged to apply by July 28, 2017. Alabama landowners living in counties identified as high priority will be assigned the highest priority for financial assistance because they were impacted the most by the drought.

Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and will address fencing, water troughs, pasture, hay land re-establishment, wells, and prescribed grazing. In addition to others, these practices will not only help landowners recover losses from the drought, they will serve as a proactive step to help landowners in the event of future drought situations. Measures such as planting drought affected cool season grasses such as fescue and installing water tanks and fencing will make lands more sustainable.

“Landowners across the state have weathered the drought for months and these funds will assist them in replenishing losses and doing what they can to help their grazing lands recover,” said State Conservationist Ben Malone.

During the worst of the drought, USDA reported more than $30 million in disaster funds were distributed nationally for livestock feed programs and non-insured disaster support. In addition, because livestock feed was in short supply, cattle sales were 19% ahead of 2015. This impacted the value of livestock that was sold.

Alabama landowners who are interested in applying for drought funding should contact their local USDA NRCS service center in Tallapoosa County at 256-329-3084, Ext 2, Monday-Friday 7:30 – 4:00 and in Coosa County at 256-377-4750, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 7:30 – 4:30 to learn more.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to:  USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

“Throw Away Day” – a County-wide cleanup – is Saturday, April 23rd

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The first ever “Throw Away Day”, a Tallapoosa County-wide cleanup, is scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd.  The Tallapoosa County Commission will place dumpsters in 12 locations throughout the county.  Residents are encouraged to bring their large items, such as sofas and mattresses,  that are too big for curbside garbage cans.  There is no charge for using the dumpsters.

This effort was put in place to discourage illegal dumping which has become a big problem throughout the county.  We also hope to encourage citizens to take action and help clean up and care for our communities.  Various groups ranging from church youth groups to city wide events are planned in conjunction with the “Throw Away Day” dumpsters.  Everyone is encouraged to take advantage of the dumpsters provided and to join clean up events in their neighborhoods and communities.

Tallapoosa County is beautiful and offers many natural resources that we do not want to take for granted.  We need to keep our county clean!

Dumpster Locations:

  • District 1 – Downtown Alexander City-next to City Hall
  • District 2 – Double Bridge area on Highway 63 near mile marker 25
  • District 3 – (3 locations)-Hackneyville Community Center, New Site County Shop and New Site Volunteer Fire Department
  • District 4 – (3 locations)-Across from Siggars Grocery on Gibson Road, Camp Hill Town Hall and County Shop in Dadeville
  • District 5 – (4 locations)-Red Ridge Methodist on Highway 34, Wall Street Nutrition Center in Tallassee, Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department and Union Volunteer Fire Department

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Roadside Clean Up Locations:

  • Pearson Rd. – led by New Providence Baptist Church
  • Hackneyville – led by Hackneyville Community Club
  • New Site along Sanford Rd.- led by Rocky Creek Baptist Church RAs and GAs
  • Downtown Alex City – led by City of Alex City, PATH and Young Professionals
  • Union Fire Department – led by Tommy Abernathy
  • Camp Hill – led by the Town Council
  • Frog Eye – led by Natalie Haynes

Organizers include Middle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership, Tallapoosa County Cooperative Extension and John Thompson. Funding for the event is provided by the Tallapoosa County Commission, Middle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership, Lake Martin Resource Association and Russell Lands.

We encourage everyone to participate in this first ever county wide event. For questions regarding the dumpsters or for more information on how to join a clean up event or schedule an event in your neighborhood, please contact John Thompson at jthompson@lmra.info /  334-399-3289 or Sabrina Wood at sabrinawood@live.com / 334-429-8832, or Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County Extension, at 256-825-1050.

New Canoe Trail Named After Harold Banks

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After nearly two years of work and preparation, the Harold Banks Canoe Trail for the Tallapoosa River finally opened. A ribbon cutting and dedication of the trail took place at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in Tallapoosa County on Friday, July 24th. At the ceremony, the new informational map brochure and signs were unveiled.  And the trail was officially named after Dadeville resident and expert canoeist Harold Banks.

Canoe Trail map coverAt the event, signs and map brochures with Harold’s name on them were revealed.  Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County Extension Coordinator, broke the news. “There is one final and most important piece of the puzzle we must add. It needs a proper name.”  Harris stated. “Today we dedicate this Canoe Trail to a man who knows and loves the Tallapoosa River more than anyone.  Someone who not only has been a leader for this local project but has paddled the entire 258 miles of the Tallapoosa River. That person is Mr. Harold Banks.  It is my honor and privilege to announce and open the Harold Banks Canoe Trail.”

State Representative Mark Tuggle read a resolution declaring the Harold Banks Canoe Trail as part of the Tallapoosa River and the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

Banks was at a loss for words when the name of the trail was revealed but says he was extremely honored. “What I love most about the Tallapoosa River is its solitude, but I want other people to enjoy and experience it.” Banks said. “I’m hoping this trail will help people appreciate and protect the river.”

Fred Couch, President and Founder of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, said they were invited down two years ago to come into the community and give them ideas on how to utilize the river.

Jim Felder, Executive Director of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, added that, “What’s happening here today is what I consider to be a textbook example of how a project like this should work.”

The canoe trail will designate 25 miles of the 258 total miles of the Tallapoosa River that flows from western Georgia into eastern Alabama. This 25 mile section is located within Tallapoosa and Chambers County and is divided into three sections and manageable float trips. The trail has some of the most beautiful views in the state, including lush countryside that preserves its natural beauty and solitude.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System partnered with the Alabama Scenic River Trail, Alabama Power, Middle Tallapoosa River Clean Water Partnership, Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., Tallapoosa County Commission, Chambers County Commission, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Coosa Valley RC&D Council, and Alexander City Rescue Squad to bring this canoe trail to Tallapoosa County and the Tallapoosa River.

Harris, who led the project, says, “The Harold Banks Canoe Trail will be a great addition to the area. We are excited that our idea of creating a canoe trail in Tallapoosa County is now a reality. A lot of time and work has gone into developing the map and this recognition.  Harris added, “Paddle sports is a growing outdoor activity nationwide; now folks can come float and experience our section of the Tallapoosa River.”

The Harold Banks Canoe Trail informational maps can be found here or by contacting the Tallapoosa County Extension Office at 256-825-1050.

 

Thanks to Lake Broadcasting for providing this video.

Agri-Tourism in Alabama

zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, beans in the foreground, people buying and selling under umbrellas in soft focus in the background

Agri-tourism can take many forms. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets offer farm-fresh produce and interaction with growers. Farms may open to the public for wildlife watching and hunting. Ag tours, on farm bed-and-breakfasts, and dude ranches give tourists the fresh air, open space, and relaxation of country life.

U-pick operations, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, hay mazes, farm-animal petting zoos, wine tasting, ag heritage museums, festivals, and fairs all attract visitors.

Find your Agri-Tourism destination today!

Classroom in the Forest

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Classroom in the Forest; Forest in the Classroom is an educational program for 5th graders in Tallapoosa County. Its purpose is to communicate the importance of the forestry industry in Alabama and the role private lands and private landowners play in environmentally and economically benefiting all residents of Alabama.  It gives forest resource landowners, stakeholders, and professionals the opportunity to work together to educate children and their teachers, and rekindle, through education and encouragement, a feeling of pride and respect for the land and the landowners.  The program is held each spring and has a classroom delivery program and an educational field trip.

Classroom in the Forest; Forest in the Classroom is a partnership of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Forest Commission, Tallapoosa County Treasure Forest Association, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tallapoosa County Master Gardeners, Horseshoe Bend national Military Park, and Tallapoosa County Schools System.

Home Orchard Pruning Demonstrations

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Fruit trees and small fruit crops are quite popular in Tallapoosa County. So naturally, Extension gets asked a lot about how to prune fruit plants each year. We tell folks it is better for us to show you than tell you. For example, how to prune a muscadine vine is much different than pruning a blueberry bush or apple tree. The details in an article, a publication, or even a discussion over the phone cannot compare to actually showing you why, how, and where to prune. This is why Extension often hosts such workshops and demonstrations in February.

Beginner Computer Course

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As high tech and technology dependent as society has become, one might think everyone must be computer whizzes now a days. Well, that is just not the case. There are still many people and segments of our population who still do not own or use computers. Some choose not to, have no need, or may be just a little shy about how to use them. If you “know nothing” about computers but want to learn or just wish to refine your computer skills, then maybe we can help you out.

The Tallapoosa County Extension office often hosts Beginner Computer Classes.  Our goal is to assist inexperienced adults by introducing them to the world of computers and its uses through basic computer training. The week long class consists of: Day 1- Computer Basics; Day 2- Microsoft Word and Excel; Day 3- The Internet; Day 4- E-mail & Social Media; and Day 5- Digital Photos & Review.

Contact us for more information.