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Jim Krosch, Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor testifies during a Congressional subcommittee hearing Wednesday in Washington D.C. The subcommittee is reviewiing the U.S. Department of Agriculture's information technology systems. Photo courtesy James Ryder.

Krosch testifies in Congress on information technology

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Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor Jim Krosch testified on information technology before the House Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry on Wednesday.

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Krosch testified on behalf of the National Association of Conservation Districts, which are urging Congress to continue to invest in and improve the software and technology that enable conservation districts and their federal partners to help landowners plan and implement appropriate conservation practices and programs on their land.

The subcommittee is reviewing the USDA's information technology systems.

In his remarks, Krosch stressed the importance of the technology link between conservation districts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in effectively serving landowners.

"USDA relies on conservation districts and other partners to help deliver local technical services to farmers, ranchers, private landowners and urban communities," Krosch said. "It is vital that the USDA data and technical tools are available to conservation district employees, as they use these tools every day to support local conservation efforts."

Krosch shared with the subcommittee members maps that were generated using geographic information systems, aerial photography and USDA's Toolkit software to map a filter strip along a stream, adding that the technology is used both on an individual and multi-farm or watershed basis.

"We encourage you to continue to provide quality information technology support for the agencies," Krosch added. "The better the technology we have, the better we can serve our producers, and in the end achieve our goal of putting conservation on the ground."

Krosch's full testimony is available on NACD's Web site at www.nacdnet.org/policy/input/testimony/information_techology_systems_03-....

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