Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 26

Georgia co-ops participate in USDA conservation program

HEATHER GREENE, MITCHELL EMC

BY JENNA SAXON

Lucius Adkins Jr., chairman of the Mitchell EMC Board of Directors and a member of the
Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors, left, and Tony Tucker, president/CEO of Mitchell
EMC, stand next to a center-pivot irrigation system on Adkins' farm in Elmodel in Baker
County.

W

ater and energy are two of the
most critical requirements for
agricultural operations in Georgia. Recently, three of Georgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs)
committed to an innovative program
to conserve these vital resources.
Last fall, Tucker-based Georgia
EMC was contacted by the Flint River
Soil and Water Conservation District
and invited to participate in a grant
program called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The proposed RCPP
project, led by the Flint River Soil and
Water Conservation District, would
develop innovative approaches to

26

conservation, with a focus on water
and energy. One of these includes
a pilot program with EMCs in South
Georgia that encourages the use of
energy- and water-efficient irrigation
on cropland. The program activities
occur while implementing best management practices for irrigation and
energy through the Environmental
Quality Incentives Program.
Altamaha EMC in Lyons, Mitchell EMC in Camilla and Planters EMC
in Millen agreed to participate, and
the grant was awarded in late February. These EMCs will disseminate
information about energy- and waterefficient irrigation and promote its
use for the next three years.
The project focuses on South
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia below the Fall Line, a geographic boundary marked by a significant difference in soil type between
the Coastal Plain and Piedmont
regions. Most irrigation takes place
south of the Fall Line, where major
underground aquifers are accessible.
Several river basins and watersheds in this region will benefit from
more widespread use of energy- and
water-efficient irrigation. The project targets the Chattahoochee, Flint,
Suwannee, Ochlockonee, Satilla, Ocmulgee, Altamaha, Ogeechee and
Oconee river basins, where centerpivot irrigation systems are powered
by electric motors.
The RCPP provides a unique
opportunity to formalize a publicprivate partnership that will enhance
water-use efficiency, improve energy
efficiency and support renewableenergy initiatives. This nontraditional
approach to conservation, with grassroots local leaders at the helm, will
positively affect the natural resources,
agricultural producers and rural communities of South Georgia.
Jenna Saxon is a government
relations representative with Tuckerbased Georgia EMC.

EMCs request
broadband funds
President Trump and congressional
leaders recently pledged $20 billion to
infrastructure development for the next
two years. America's electric cooperatives are requesting Congress dedicate
a significant portion of these funds to
bridge the digital divide for rural
America. Georgia's EMCs are asking
Congress to allocate at least $2.5 billion
in each of the next two years to the
Rural Utilities Service at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture to fundĀ 
broadband development in rural areas.
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover3
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