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USDA Issues FY11 Request for Proposals for CCPI and AWEP

December 14, 2010

On Tuesday, December 14, USDA published its FY 2011 Request for Proposals for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), both of which are administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Both CCPI and AWEP are partnership programs, through which NRCS partners with Indian tribes, State and local units of government, institutions of higher education, farmer cooperatives, agricultural associations or other groups of producers, and agricultural land trusts or other nongovernmental organizations to provide joint conservation funding to individual producers.  The purpose of the FY 2011 RFP is to solicit partnership proposals from eligible partners.

NRCS administers CCPI and AWEP through existing conservation programs.  CCPI is implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), while AWEP is administered solely through EQIP.  Producers who are located within approved AWEP and CCPI project areas must apply directly to and meet the eligibility requirements of EQIP, CSP, or WHIP.

The RFP announces the availability of up to $5 million in AWEP funding, available through EQIP, for FY 2011.  It also announces the availability of up to $16 million in CCPI funding through EQIP, up to $1.8 million through WHIP, and up to 229,000 acres through CSP.

AWEP proposals will receive higher priority if they:

  • Include high percentages of agricultural land and producers
  • Result in high levels of applied agricultural water quality and water conservation
  • Significantly enhance agricultural activity
  • Allow for monitoring and evaluation by the partner
  • Assist agricultural producers in meeting a regulatory requirement that reduces the economic scope of the producer’s operation
  • Achieve the project’s land and water treatment objectives within 5 years or less
  • Are from States with water quantity concerns that are addressed in proposal

CCPI proposals will receive higher priority if they:

  • Have a high percentage of producers actively farming or managing working agricultural or nonindustrial private forest lands
  • Significantly leverage non-Federal financial and technical resources and coordinate with other local, State, or Federal efforts
  • Deliver high percentages of applied conservation practices to address water quality, water conservation, or State, regional, or national conservation initiatives
  • Provide innovation in approved conservation practices, conservation methods, and delivery
  • Complete the application of the conservation practices and activities in 5 years or less
  • Assist the participants in meeting regulatory requirements
  • Provide monitoring and evaluation of conservation practices, enhancements, and activities
  • Provide matching financial funds or technical assistance
  • Further efforts with renewable energy production, energy conservation, mitigating the effects of climate change, facilitating climate change adaptation, or fostering carbon sequestration
  • Provide outreach to, and participation of, beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, and Indian tribes


AWEP is intended to promote ground and surface water conservation and improve water quality on agricultural lands in approved project areas.  You can learn more about AWEP by visiting USDA’s program website here.

The purpose of CCPI is to combine federal and non-federal funds to specifically address state and local conservation priorities and concerns (90 percent of the funds and acres reserved for projects are chosen by the NRCS State Conservationist, in consultation with the NRCS State Technical Committees).

One major purpose of the CCPI added by the 2008 Farm Bill is the development of innovative conservation practices and delivery methods including practices associated with organic production and specialty crops.  Visit NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to the Farm Bill for an in-depth description of how CPPI functions and the types of projects that it funds.

Categories: Beginning and Minority Farmers, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs

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