Jan. 13, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced up to
$225 million in available funding for conservation partners through the
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP is a partner-driven
program that leverages collective resources to find solutions to address
natural resource challenges on agricultural land. This year’s funding
announcements include opportunities for projects that address climate
change, benefit historically underserved producers and support urban
public-private partnership at its best,” said Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Terry Cosby. “We’re harnessing the power
of partnership to create lasting solutions to global challenges, like
climate change, and support producers and communities who have been
underserved in the past.”
There are two
types of funding opportunities under RCPP: RCPP Classic and RCPP
Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). RCPP Classic projects are
implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners
and communities, in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP AFA,
partners have more flexibility in working directly with agricultural
producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches
that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic. Project types
that may be suited to AFA, as highlighted by the 2018 Farm Bill include:
· Projects that use
innovative approaches to leverage the federal investment in conservation.
· Projects that deploy a
pay-for-performance conservation approach.
· Projects that seek
large-scale infrastructure investment that generate conservation benefits
for agricultural producers and nonindustrial private forest owners.
accepting project proposals for both components of RCPP through 11:59 p.m.
on April 13, 2022. View the funding opportunity on grants.gov for RCPP Classic
and RCPP AFA.
webinar with general program information for RCPP applicants is scheduled
for 3-4:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, 2022. Visit the RCPP website
for information on how to participate.
Funding is open
to agriculture and silviculture associations, non-government organizations,
Indian tribes, state and local governments, conservation districts and
universities, among others.
expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP
funding in an amount equal to or greater than the NRCS investment.
landowners can apply to participate in an RCPP project in their region
through awarded partners or at their local USDA service center.
authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions
of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3
billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on private
lands. Since inception, RCPP has made 579 awards involving over 3,000
partner organizations. Currently there are 408 active projects, with at
least one active project in every state and area. Successful RCPP projects
provide innovative conservation solutions, leverage partner contributions
and offer impactful and measurable outcomes.
announcement builds on other efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to
address climate change. Earlier this week, NRCS announced a new Cover Crop Initiative,
available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to
help agricultural producers mitigate climate change through the widespread
adoption of cover crops. NRCS also announced the signup for EQIP Conservation Incentive
Contracts and an improvement to the Conservation
Stewardship Program (CSP).
USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced details of the new Post Application Coverage
Endorsement, providing coverage for corn producers who
“split apply nitrogen,” a more conservation friendly way to apply
the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the
Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system
with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production,
fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and
nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of
income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry
practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy
capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the
Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more
representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.