Three Agriculture Department agencies are broadening their partnership to better protect the environment. The three agencies--the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Agricultural Research Service and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service--on Oct. 4, signed a Memorandum of Agreement to intensify their efforts to conserve natural resources and identify solutions to the environmental problems facing agricultural land managers.

"We want to ensure that we develop research and technology responsive to present and emerging customer needs and national priorities," ARS Administration Floyd Horn said. "The agreement signed by the leaders of these three agencies formalizes the roles of each on contributing to the common goal of protecting the American landscape."

The Natural Resources Conservation Service works closely with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners to conserve the nation's soil and water resources. The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service funds university research and conducts outreach work with farmers and the general public. The Agricultural Research Service is USDA's chief scientific research agency.

The Memorandum of Understanding can be viewed on the World Wide Web at http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov/pmt/nrtpmou.html.

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