Agency to no longer contract directly with biologists

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Farm Forum

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Officials with agriculture and conservation groups in North Dakota have reached an agreement on who will employ biologists to work with farmers on voluntary conservation programs.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service currently has a partnership with Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever to employ biologists in the state’s Farm Bill Biologist Program. The biologists assist farmers in conservation efforts.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer says some farmers and ranchers felt the groups could have an unfair influence.

Under the agreement announced on Sept. 4, conservation groups will now no longer contract directly through NRCS but through the local soil conservation districts.

Cramer says the new system will help eliminate any perception of bias and will restore trust.