July 8, 2014
Monday, July 14 is the last day to submit pre-proposals to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Through RCPP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners with producer associations or cooperatives, units of state or local governments, Indian tribes, water or irrigation districts or utilities, institutions of higher education, or other organizations that have a history of working with producers, to deliver federal farm bill conservation assistance to farmers to address specific natural resource and environmental concerns in a specific region or state.
Partners can develop and submit pre-proposals until July 14. Instructions for the pre-proposals can be found in the Announcement of Program Funding (APF). NRCS will select pre-proposals by July 28. Full proposals are due by September 26, with NRCS making final selections by October 27. Unlike many NRCS programs, farmers and ranchers do not apply directly for funding through RCPP. Instead, partner entities submit project proposals and conduct outreach to ensure producer participation.
Applicants should note that grants.gov will be shut down between July 12 and July 14, and therefore during that time, pre-proposals must be submitted through email to RCPP@wdc.usda.gov.
Applicants also have the option of submitting via postal mail during this time; however pre-proposals must be received, not postmarked, by July 14. The mailing address is:Director
When submitted project pre-proposals, partners may request funds for a variety of technical assistance (TA) activities, including resource assessment, conservation practice survey and design, conservation planning, and resource monitoring, among others.
RCPP project proposals are ranked according to a four-part ranking system:
The 2014 Farm Bill created RCPP by consolidating four previously separate programs: the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI), Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI), and Great Lakes Conservation Initiative (GLCI). Many of the projects will likely focus on particular resource issues of heightened concern in a given geographic region or a given set or type of farmers within a State or area interested in pursuing particular innovative conservation objectives.
35 percent of total RCPP funding for projects in Critical Conservation Areas (CCAs), 40 percent to NRCS national headquarters for other national priorities, and 25 percent to state NRCS offices for in-state projects. Money allocated to the states will be awarded to projects by the NRCS state office.
Additional USDA resources available for RCPP include a program webpage, a Q & A page, a map of the Critical Conservation Areas (CCAs), RCPP testimonials, and the Announcement of Program Funding (AFP).