Strategic partnerships are critical to advancing the District’s conservation initiatives on a local, state, and national level. We work with a diverse group of Federal agencies, state agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, agricultural associations, and local landowners.
USDA is a core partner for the District and has been since its beginning in 1939. The District acts as the local partner for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), leading the local work groups which prioritize conservation funding for Farm Bill programs.
The District works closely with NRCS at the local, state, and national level on Farm Bill programs and special programs to advance conservation through financial and technical assistance. (Pictured above are Flint District Chairman Marty McLendon and USDA NRCS Georgia State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph.)
The District also works closely with the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Laboratory, located in Dawson, Georgia. The Peanut Lab is a leading partner on multiple projects. This includes assisting with advancing and updating Irrigator Pro, an irrigation scheduling model developed by the Peanut Lab based on decades of research. The Peanut Lab is also a core partner on our Peanut Sustainability pilot project, where the District is collecting data from peanut farmers nationwide to showcase the sustainable nature of peanut production.
Other USDA partners include the Farm Service Agency, Wildlife Services, and Rural Development.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia (UGA) is a long-time partner of the District, shaping and co-leading multiple projects. UGA provides technical expertise and research related to conservation-driven technology. The District secures grant funding to transfer technology from the research field to working farms.
Since 2011, the District has provided funding to UGA at a value of approximately $1.5 million to assist with technology transfer as well as outreach and education. The District-UGA partnership, supported by funding from USDA and others, has positioned Georgia to be a leader globally in conservation through innovation.
UGA partners include the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (Stripling Irrigation Research Park, Extension, Weather Network, and Precision Ag Team) and Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources.
Change the Course
Change the Course is a water restoration campaign led by one of our partners, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Change the Course pairs businesses with on-the-ground conservation organizations (like ours) to raise awareness about freshwater, reduce water use, and restore flows to freshwater ecosystems. This is an innovative approach to uniting corporate social responsibility with agricultural water stewardship.
Partners supporting work in the Flint River Basin through Change the Course include Coca-Cola, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Delta Airlines, the Atlanta Airport, and the Georgia Aquarium, among many others.