The local Natural Resource Conservation Service office is urging more participation in its programs and plans and is bringing back regular work-group meetings to improve outreach.
The statewide effort is being spearheaded by lead state conservationist Clint Evans.
"This is our first one in several years," said Joel Lee, district conservationist for the Cortez office. "We want to bring it back to the local level and resurrect these meetings."
NRCS is a federal agency that provides a variety of agricultural services and cost-share programs.
Its core mission has been irrigation management to reduce salinity runoff into the Colorado River from farming, but it has expanded its programs in recent years.
In the past three years, 134 contracts have been signed for services, mostly for erosion control, irrigation and rangeland efficiency, Lee said.
But a record 15 percent of contracts went toward providing residents high-tunnel greenhouses, also called hoop houses, at reduced cost.
At one point in 2013, Montezuma County reportedly led other Colorado counties with the highest number of greenhouses. They are ideal for growing produce, and the controlled environment lengthens the growing season.
Lee said work-group participants can direct where the local NRCS office focuses its efforts.
"The work group can be determine the ranking of an issue, and where the funding should focus on," Lee said.
Ideas for services include fire protection, soil health, range health, irrigation efficiency, cover crops, drought-resistant crops, wildlife management and helping to restore local orchards.
Soil health have become a prominent concern, said Chuck McAffee.
"The soil is different now than 50 years ago, and I believe it needs attention," he said.
He suggested that farmers who have lands in the Conservation Reserve Program be allowed to graze them occasionally as a way to improve organic inputs.
Judy Garrigues, of High Desert Conservation, said farmers stuck in their ways is a challenge to promoting more beneficial and efficient crops.
Convincing farmers to adjust their practices is one goal, such as adding cover crops on fallow fields to improve soil health.
"A lot of people do not want to change what they are doing, and need incentives and education to try something different," she said.
More collaboration with the CSU agricultural experiment station in Yellow Jacket was also suggested to improve farming in the area.