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David Sparks Ph.d Rancher Conservationist
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: August 21, 2017

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Every time I turn around I get some memo or email from an agency stressing how important soil and water conservation are to landowners. Idaho rancher Chris Banks says that taking strong conservation measures does not need to be dreary and can add to the bottom line. “My experience growing up and understanding cattle and agricultural operations, understanding the frustrations of landowners dealing with government red tape, dealing with government oversight has been very beneficial because I have been able to understand and sees things from both sides. Working for a government agency and also working in agriculture and so I was able to relate with the landowners. I can explain to them that the projects that they are doing were not there to hinder them but actually to help them. They improve their bottom line as well as improve natural resources. The very first projects that we started out with were in what is called the Marsh Creek drainage. It runs from the city of Incam just south of Pocatello Idaho all the way to Downey. We did three grants in that main watershed working with 26 different landowners and spent a little over $2.2 million implementing water quality projects. The landowners did a great job. They were very easy to work with. I started hearing from people around the state that they wanted somebody like me to be able to help them more. It was kind of limited because I worked for an agency that could only give me the way to go and work for so many different people. So I got the idea of going out on my own. I started my own consulting business and I can start helping more landowners. I started a business called Conservation Basics.

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