The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has postponed its State Technical Advisory Committee meeting from Sept. 4 to Oct. 1 so a new customer-centric, digital tool for conservation planning can be discussed in greater detail.

“Generally it is going to help improve the efficiency of conservation planning,” Public Affairs Specialist Mindi Rambo said of the technology.

“One of the prevailing themes for NRCS in Idaho and nationally is improving the customer experience,” she said. Examples include developing strategies and action plans that are workable at the state level, and offering online tools and other resources to help customers “have more of a hand in that.”

NRCS also is working on “just having staff available to do more field work,” Rambo said. “We are looking at ways to reduce internal paperwork so staff can be in the field more, aiding customers and producers — which is really where the staff’s love is as well.”

NRCS Idaho State Conservationist Curtis Elke chairs the committee, now scheduled to meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 1 at the USDA Service Center conference room, 9173 W. Barnes Drive, Boise.

The committee meets every four months to advise NRCS and other USDA agencies on carrying out natural-resources conservation provisions of Farm Bill legislation as well as current resource issues. It includes representatives of federal and state natural resource agencies, tribes, agricultural and environmental organizations, and agricultural producers.

Elke likely will discuss staffing and participate in a roundtable discussion with partners, Rambo said.

The open discussion typically covers what partners are working on and serves as “an opportunity to find new ways to collaborate,” Rambo said.

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