Grants and Programs


Agricultural Conservation Easement Program: Between Farm Bills

June 28, 2022

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) was created in the 2014 Farm Bill through the combination of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRE), the Grassland Reserve Program, and the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. The program is administered through Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS,) and is divided into two tracks: a wetland easement component and an agricultural land easement (ALE) component. The 2018 Farm Bill gave ACEP a major increase in annual funding – adding $200 million per year as compared to levels under the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill also added new provisions to prioritize projects that maintain farm viability and land affordability.

Climate and Agriculture Legislation Roundup

June 7, 2022

During the 117th Congress, congressional legislators have introduced a number of bills that aim to address greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in agriculture and transform farms and the food system to better address climate challenges. In this post, NSAC summarizes those bills.

CRP Signup: Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

May 27, 2022

For more than 35 years, the Farm Bill’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has paid farmers and landowners to take highly erodible and other environmentally sensitive lands out of crop production and enroll them in conserving practices instead. Through CRP, USDA pays farmers to set aside land for grass or tree cover for a period of 10 or 15 years. This May, the Farm Service Agency announced that it had accepted over 2 million new acres into the FY22 CRP General Signup. This included more than 1.75 million re-enrolled acres, over 85% of the total accepted.

New $25 Million Funding Opportunity to Provide Technical Assistance to Underserved Farmers Closes Soon

May 12, 2022

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new investment of $25 million in grants for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Technical Assistance Investment Program (ARPTAI) – a new program to provide historically underserved farmers, ranchers and forest landowners technical support in accessing USDA programs and services.

THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATION AND THE GRAZING REVOLUTION: FARMERS AND RANCHERS ASK CONGRESS TO FUND THE GRAZING LANDS CONSERVATION INITIATIVE (GLCI)

April 18, 2022

Graziers, or producers who utilize systematic grazing management in raising livestock, are making the case for the widespread adoption of pasture based practices that demonstrate synchronous benefits for both local food systems and ecosystems. The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) enters the landscape provides local and regional resources for farmers and ranchers – both established and beginning – who are interested in understanding and utilizing grazing management practices.

CSP RENEWAL DEADLINE COMING UP QUICKLY!

April 1, 2022

Did you know that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for contract renewals in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)? CSP is a comprehensive working lands conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to actively manage and maintain existing conservation systems and to implement additional conservation activities on land in production. The deadline to apply for a renewal is fast approaching!

$19 Million Available to Support Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in 2022

March 28, 2022

USDA announced $19 million for the BFRDP in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Request for Application (RFA). Applicants have until May 19, 2022, to apply for this year’s round of grants.

USDA Awarded $10.5 Million for Farmer Risk Management Training

March 24, 2022

In 2020 and 2021, USDA awarded almost $10.5 million to fund over 200 risk management education grants for universities and community-based organizations to help farmers learn how to better mitigate risk on their farms. Awardees included a number of NSAC members, whose projects are highlighted in our latest blog post.

A Record $35 Million Now Available to Support Historically Underserved and Veteran Farmers

March 23, 2022

Earlier this month, USDA announced a record $35 million in funding for 2501 grants, almost $20 million more than was available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, to help organizations conduct targeted outreach and provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers. The Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, more commonly known as the “2501 Program,” and administered by USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), helps to ensure that historically underserved producers have equitable access to the information, programs, and opportunities that will help them to find success in agriculture. June 8, 2022 is the deadline for applications.

USDA Opens Latest Round of Funding to Support Local and Regional Food Economy Development Projects

March 11, 2022

NSAC looks at USDA’s recently announced round of grant funding for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) and Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) program to build and expand local and regional food and agriculture markets. The deadline to apply for the FMLFPP and RFSP program is Monday, May 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Full details on the NSAC blog.

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