TEMPLE, TEXAS – May 18, 2011 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) invite the public and any agencies with an interest in conservation issues to participate in Local Work Group (LWG) meetings taking place across Texas during the months of May and June. The LWG for Mason will meet on Thursday June 2nd at 1:00 pm at the St. Paul Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.The purpose of the public meetings is to receive input from farmers, ranchers, local agencies, organizations, local agricultural leaders, businesses, and other individuals that have an interest in natural resource concerns.Input received will allow the LWG to identify and prioritize the resource concerns that need to be addressed for eligible practices and ranking for county based funding. Recommendations provided by the LWG meetings will be reviewed by the State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to help implement the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and other conservation programs offered by NRCS.The 2008 Farm Bill stipulates that conservation programs must continue to be locally led. Through stake holder meetings, the public is given an opportunity to help local conservation leaders set program priorities. Funding for these programs may be made available to eligible producers through the application process.For more information, contact the local USDA-NRCS office in your county, listed under USDA in the Yellow Pages, or access the information on the Texas NRCS website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.Persons with disabilities who require special accommodations and/or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, Large print, audiotape, etc.) associated with this meeting should contact the local NRCS office in their county.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, genetic information, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).