Hobart Community Garden Hoop House.
With the help of Great Plains RC&D Council, Searchlight Center (a local non-profit that helps develop the work skills of disabled residents) built a seasonal hoop house ad prepared planting beds in a local community garden. With the hoop house in place, the garden has become the perfect setting to teach important skills to this group of undeserved people and increase the quality of food available to the community.
Additional milling equipment for the Stone Stack Flour Mill at P-Bar Farms in Hydro, Oklahoma to increase milling capacity and to grind other grains into flour to be used in mixes and blends.
The Southern Plains Agricultural Resource Coalition (SPARC) in cooperation with Great Plains RC&D hosted an Open House event at P Bar Farms near Hydro on Sept. 7th. The farm is the location of a new flour mill to produce whole wheat flour from wheat grown only by farmers practicing no-till farming.
No-Till Wheat Flour Mill has Open House
Story written by Crystal Young,USDA NRCS Public Affairs Specialist
Label used on the bags of whole wheat flour
If you have been to P-Bar Farms, you were most likely rubbing elbows with some ears in Loren Liebschers maze of maize. September 7, 2010 about 40 people were on hand for the grand opening of the newest in the line of red barns lining the I-40 access road near Weatherford. The barn hosts the Stone Stack Mill. It is a flour mill that is milling 100% whole wheat flour produced by farmers growing wheat locally in western Oklahoma. The barn is set up with interior and exterior observation windows allowing tour groups to see how flour is processed.
The Caddo Kiowa Career Tech School helped Liebscher secure a rural development loan that funded the barn structure. The Great Plains Resource Conservation Development Association applied for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant that purchased the mill equipment.
The Southern Plains Agricultural Resources Coalition (SPARC) is a group of producers and partners who are committed to growing a sustainable, no-till wheat crop and providing the mill with grain that will eventually be sold as flour.
Four Area Counties to Benefit from Stronger Economies Together Grant
Due to the hard work and dedication of Great Plains RC&D Council Member, Larry Wright, four counties in our area will benefit from the Stronger Economies Together SET grant.
Wright, former Coordinator of Great Plains RC&D, and other key leaders in our surrounding communities have worked together diligently to apply for and receive the SET grant. This program will boost our local economies by providing technical assistance/training and resources from the USDA Rural Development and Oklahoma State University.
The purpose of the SET program is to strengthen the capacity of communities/counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-county region, one that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of the region.
The counties benefiting from this program are Beckham, Caddo, Custer and Washita. All four counties, working together, could utilize the I-40 corridor to aid in strengthening our local economies. 19 letters of commitment from the local City governments, County Commissioners, and Technology Centers have been received. Great Plains will act as the 501(c)(3) umbrella to facilitate this grant.
The grant will provide 35 hours of training consisting of nine core modules delivered to each team on a face-to-face basis over the course of several months. Some technical assistance will also be given by USDA RD staff and Extension educators. They will help to assist the local team in securing the type of information needed to guide regional planning activities.