COLUMBUS – Have you ever seen the sky tinted brown with soil blown from a bare field on a windy day? Maybe you’ve seen a lake or stream that was green from algae growing out of control. These things are signs that the land and the water are hurting and need our help.

The people working at the Natural Resources Conservation Service are like Land Doctors, we call ourselves “Conservationists.” We know the signs of land that’s hurting and help people working with the land to heal it. We are looking for new patients!

Many people that grow plants or raise animals don’t know that they are “farmers.” But, anyone working with the land to grow a crop, a forest, raise animals, or produce vegetables or fruit for sale may be a “farmer.” New patients may never have gone to a Land Doctor before, either because they don’t know they are “farmers” or because they’ve been discriminated against in the past when they asked for help.

These people include African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, American Indians, the disabled, and women. Other groups of people that may not have visited the Land Doctor are new farmers, farmers that don’t have a lot of money, organic farmers or farmers that grow different or unusual crops or animals. Even if you know you’re a farmer and may have heard of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, we encourage you to join us to learn about the latest, greatest treatments for healing the land.

During the month of November, the Natural Resources Conservation Service Land Doctors – Conservationists – are inviting new patients to come and hear how we can help people using the land see signs that the land needs help. We will show how together we can treat the land to make it healthier so it can grow more food. We will also talk about ways to pay for these treatments, using our “Conservation Programs.”  The Jefferson County meeting will be held November 21,2011 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Jefferson Vocational School located at 1509, Co. Rd. 22A, Bloomingdale, Ohio. The Harrison County meeting will be held November 22, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Puskarich Public Library, 200 East Market Street, Cadiz Ohio.

A meeting will be held in each county in Ohio. To find the meeting nearest you call 614-255-2471 or visit our Web site at http://www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov for a list of meeting locations, dates and times.