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NMC Highlights Conservation Project Progress to Visiting Federal Officials (August 15, 2008)

The Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service (CREES) recently highlighted the progress it has made with a soil and water conservation project aimed at raising the quality of agricultural produce grown in the CNMI.

The progress report and demonstration was made to an inspection team from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), which funded the project with a grant of $73,000.

NMC CREES Director Ross Manglona indicated that the conservation project, which is located in As Perdido and which utilizes and compares traditional and modern farm techniques, will be completed before the end of this year. Public outreach activities will then follow to educate the community about project findings and to demonstrate proven techniques to raise agricultural yields. One of the other goals of the project is to increase farmers’ profit margins by helping them employ techniques that reduce costs.

According to Manglona, the inspection team was impressed with the progress of the project and was particularly taken aback with the how well the farm site was organized and how much was achieved in a rather short amount of time. The inspection team consisted of Guam-based agronomist Dr. Craig Smith and Michael Whitt, NRCS program manager from Hawaii.

Interested students, farmers, and the general public are welcome to visit the farm anytime for a first hand experience on the CREES farming project. For more information call NMC-CREES at (670) 234-5498 extension 1707.

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