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USDA announces $1.5 billion to help farmers advance conservation

The USDA is making $1.5 billion available to help farmers advance conservation and climate-smart agriculture.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the funds come from the farm bill and Inflation Reduction Act.

“We expect and anticipate roughly 50 percent of those resources being invested in the critical conservation areas that have been designated under the RCPP program, of which the Upper Mississippi River Basin is one of the eight so-classified. The other will be based on individual state and multiple state applications.”

Speaking to Brownfield following a farmer roundtable discussion in Mankato, Minnesota Wednesday, Vilsack said USDA is responding to unprecedented demand for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

“We make it easier for them to apply for multiple grants (and) we streamline the process for supplemental agreements as contracts are entered. We are going to provide some technical assistance and some training.”

The RCPP funding opportunities are focused on climate-smart ag, urban agriculture, conservation, and environmental justice.  Vilsack says the deadline to apply is July 2nd.

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