After experiencing success in its first year, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District (NPGCD) is now accepting applications for the 2017 Master Irrigator Program.
Through a partnership agreement between the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an estimated $1.6 million in funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) has been provided to support the new Master Irrigator Program over the next four years. Participants who complete the 2017 course and receive their Master Irrigator Certification will have priority access to $400,000 in NPGCD EQIP funding.
The Master Irrigator Program is an irrigation management curriculum made up of 32 hours of intensive irrigation education conducted over four one-day sessions to show producers how to maximize advanced conservation irrigation management and conservation practices that work together to save water, conserve energy, build soil health and enhance farm profitability. The classes fall on consecutive Wednesdays beginning March 22, 2017 and ending April 12, 2017. Perfect attendance is required for EQIP eligibility and graduation.
Classes on irrigation planning, SDI and remote sensing, soil fertility and probes, efficient center pivot technology, and new technology and methods give participants a chance to not only learn about better irrigation practices, but it also helps them with implementation. According to one Master Irrigator 2016 Graduate, “I gained knowledge of new products that are available and coming out in the future to make irrigation more efficient and sustainable.” Of the 2016 graduates who took the survey, 100% said they planned to implement the information they learned in the course.
Applications for the 2017 Master Irrigator Program accompanied with a $100 registration fee will be accepted for up to 25 participants or until March 10, 2017. Priority will be given to residents of the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District. For more information and to apply for the program, go to the Master Irrigator page on our website, or call 806-935-6401. You can also “like” the North Plains Groundwater page on Facebook or “follow” NPGCD on Twitter (@NorthPlainsGCD) to receive updates on district activities.