Community

USDA groups connect with local citizens at Community Coffee

How many of us locals have traveled the bypass multiple times over the years and always wondered what is inside that big brick building just past Big Jakes? SWARK.Today knows the answer; plus, we discovered they know how to put out a spread! 

This morning’s Chamber Community Coffee was held at the USDA Service Center and hosted by the Hempstead County Conservation District (part of the National Resource Conservation Service NRCS), Farm Service Agency, and Rural Development, all components of the USDA. The groups had a vast spread of both sweet and savory snacks for visitors to sample, including watermelon slices in the shapes of farm animals. David Williams, Hempstead County Conservation District Manager, said hosting the Community Coffee was a great way to connect with the community. “There are so many programs people can become involved in,” Williams said. “Whether it’s for a farm, forestry, a home, or even something within the city. We wanted to let people know what we do out here and what we have to offer, let people know what’s inside that brick building on the bypass.”

Coffee participants visted with members of the three groups, sampled the tasty treats, and took a turn around the building while also skimming the available reading material describing various programs. Williams described a few of these services. NRCS helps farmers with cost-share programs and technical assistance on their farms, forestry, etc. Farm Service Agency assists with farm loans, crop insurance, and many other things. Rural Development assists with home loans, plus small towns’ water systems, sewer systems, and infrastructure.

This is just a small sampling of what services these organizations have to offer, and Williams said there are always representatives available to provide more info or answer questions. Call queries can be made at 870-777-8800 or, now that we all know what that big brick buildong is, in-person inquiries can be made at the USDA Service Center at 300 W. Commerce Blvd.

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