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News Release

Cooperative Extension
Date: September 15, 2010

For more information contact
Vicki Jedlicka (402) 441-7180

Lancaster County Extension hosts USDA Listening Session
on Sustainable Agriculture on Sept. 23

Since 1988, the North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education competitive grants program. The program, part of U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.

The NCR-SARE will conduct three listening sessions in Lincoln and Omaha, NE and Council Bluffs, IA. Lancaster County Extension will host the first session on Thursday, Sept. 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Extension Education Center, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln. The listening sessions are open to the public, at no cost. Everyone is invited to attend, especially anti-hunger and food justice advocates, educators, non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, government officials, farmers, ranchers, grocers, chefs, workers, food processors and distributors.

Topics of discussion could include new production, processing, distribution, food safety and security, and health information. This is an opportunity to communicate challenges and successes, help assess how NCR-SARE grants and programs are reaching and benefiting recipients, and suggest how NCR-SARE can support future programs designed to meet urban\rural community needs.

These discussions will help guide future USDA and NCR-SARE policies, outreach, research and programs.

The listening sessions are presented with the cooperation of the Nebraska Great Plains Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) and Iowa Golden Hills RC&D in partnership with UNL Extension, Metropolitan Community College and Iowa Western Community College.

For more information about the Lincoln session, contact Gary Bergman at (402) 441-7180. Please preregister by calling Lancaster County Extension at (402) 441-7180. For information about the sessions in Omaha and Council Bluffs, go to www.mccneb.edu/sareusda or call (402) 457-2214.

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