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Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Conservation Reserve Program
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Please contact your local NRCS Field Office for more information on any of the programs listed below.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in
the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to
provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that
promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible
national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist
eligible participants install or implement structural and management
practices on eligible agricultural land.
EQIP offers contracts with
a minimum term that ends one year after the implementation of the last
scheduled practices and a maximum term of ten years. These contracts
provide incentive payments and cost-shares to implement conservation
practices. Persons who are engaged in livestock or agricultural
production on eligible land may participate in the EQIP program. EQIP
activities are carried out according to an environmental quality
incentives program plan of operations developed in conjunction with the
producer that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or
practices to address the resource concerns. The practices are subject to
NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions. The local
conservation district approves the plan.
EQIP may cost-share up to 75 percent of the
costs of certain conservation practices. Incentive payments may be
provided for up to three years to encourage producers to carry out
management practices they may not otherwise use without the incentive.
However, limited resource producers and beginning farmers and ranchers
may be eligible for cost-shares up to 90 percent. Farmers and ranchers
may elect to use a certified third-party provider for technical
assistance. An individual or entity may not receive, directly or
indirectly, cost-share or incentive payments that, in the aggregate,
exceed $450,000 for all EQIP contracts entered during the term of the
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program
for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on
private land. Through WHIP USDA's Natural Resources Conservation
Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent
cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife
habitat. WHIP agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last
from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.
WHIP has proven to be a highly effective and widely accepted program
across the country. By targeting wildlife habitat projects on all lands
and aquatic areas, WHIP provides assistance to conservation minded
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 reauthorized WHIP as a
voluntary approach to improving wildlife habitat in our Nation. Program
administration of WHIP is provided under the Natural Resources
Conservation Security Program (CSP)
CSP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical
assistance to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water,
air, energy, plant and animal life, and other conservation purposes on
Tribal and private working lands. Working lands include cropland,
grassland, prairie land, improved pasture, and range land, as well as
forested land that is an incidental part of an agriculture operation.
The program is available in all 50 States, the Caribbean Area and the
Pacific Basin area. The program provides equitable access to benefits to
all producers, regardless of size of operation, crops produced, or
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides technical and financial
assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and
related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally
beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program provides assistance to
farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State, and tribal
environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement. The
program is funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). CRP is
administered by the Farm Service Agency, with NRCS providing technical
land eligibility determinations, conservation planning and practice
The Conservation Reserve Program reduces soil
erosion, protects the Nation's ability to produce food and fiber,
reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality,
establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources.
It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other
environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or
native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian
buffers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the
multi-year contract. Cost sharing is provided to establish the
vegetative cover practices.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program offering
landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands
on their property. Section 2401 of the Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-171) amended the Food Security Act
of 1985 to authorize this program. The Natural Resources Conservation
Service, Farm Service Agency and Forest Service are coordinating
implementation of GRP, which helps landowners restore and protect
grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrubland and certain other lands and
provides assistance for rehabilitating grasslands. The program will
conserve vulnerable grasslands from conversion to cropland or other uses
and conserve valuable grasslands by helping maintain viable ranching
Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)
The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) is a voluntary program established for the
purpose of restoring and enhancing forest ecosystems to: 1) promote the recovery of
threatened and endangered species, 2) improve biodiversity; and 3) enhance carbon
The HFRP was signed into law as part of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.
The program is authorized to be carried out from 2004 through 2008.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program offering landowners
the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their
property. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their
wetland restoration efforts. The NRCS goal is to achieve the
greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife
habitat, on every acre enrolled in the program. This program
offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and
wildlife practices and protection.
Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP)
The FPPA is intended to minimize the impact Federal programs have on the
unnecessary and irreversible conversion of farmland to nonagricultural
uses. It assures that—to the extent possible—Federal programs are
administered to be compatible with state, local units of government, and
private programs and policies to protect farmland.
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Please contact your local Rural Development Office for more information on any of the programs listed below. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ma/massachusetts.htm
Section 9006: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the Farm Bill) established the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program
under Title IX, Section 9006. This program currently funds grants and
loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business for
assistance with purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy
Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG)
Grants are made to assist public bodies and non-profit corporations to
finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private
business enterprises. Small and emerging businesses have 50 or less
employees and less than $1.0 million in gross revenues. Grants are
primarily to be used by eligible non-profits or public entities to
provide technical assistance or establish a revolving loan fund.
Revolving loan funds can provide micro-loans to small business which may
be for the purchase of land, construction of facilities, and other
Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG)
Grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for
marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable
energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and
rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and
majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.
RD is not yet accepting applications for the 2007 funding cycle, but
expects to publish a Notice of Solicitation of Applications in the
Federal Register sometime in March 2007. Please check back frequently,
because updates will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Guaranteed Loan Program
Notice for Requests for Proposals for Guaranteed Loans under the Section
538; Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) for Fiscal Year
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USDA-FARM SERVICE AGENCY (FSA)
Please contact your local Farm Service Agency Office for more information on any of the programs listed below. http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ma&agency=fsa
Farm Loan Programs
FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loans
(OL) to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial
credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. FSA
loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed,
Price Support Programs
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is an organization with a legacy of
responding quickly to program legislation, being service-oriented, and
focusing on producer needs.
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Conservation Reserve Program
USDA Announces Results of Intentions to Re-Enroll and Extend CRP Contracts
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced new results of the
recent opportunity given to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
participants to re-enroll or extend their contracts, which are set to
expire between 2007 and 2010.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
This unique Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) state and
federal partnerships allows you to receive incentive payments for
installing specific conservation practices that help protect
environmentally sensitive land, decrease erosion, restore wildlife
habitat, and safeguard ground and surface water.
Emergency Conservation Program
Get back on your feet after a natural disaster. USDA Farm Service
Agency’s (FSA) Emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers
and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and
for carrying out emergency conservation measures in periods of severe
Farmland Wetlands Program (FWP)
The Farmlands Wetlands Program (FWP) reduces downstream flood damage,
improves surface and groundwater quality, and recharges groundwater
supplies by restoring wetlands.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) helps landowners restore and protect
grassland, rangeland, pastureland, and shrub land and provides
assistance for rehabilitating grasslands.
Source Water Protection Program
Source water is surface and ground water that is consumed by rural
residents. The Source Water Protection Program is designed to help
prevent source water pollution through voluntary practices installed by
producers at local levels.
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Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003
The Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003 (the Act), signed into law on
February 20, 2003, provides assistance to pro-ducers who have suffered
losses due to weather-related disasters or other emer-gency conditions.
The total estimated cost of the Act is $3.099 billion.
PL 108-324 Emergency Programs for Disaster Assistance, 2003-2005
In October 2004, President Bush signed disaster and drought legislation
(PL 108-324) that provides more than $3 billion in financial relief to
farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other agricultural producers who
incurred losses due to weather conditions in recent years. The
legislation funds new and existing programs administered by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA)
USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides emergency loans to help
producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought,
flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.
Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and
ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for
carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe
drought. Funding for ECP is appropriated by Congress.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
USDA's Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance
Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable
crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occurs
due to natural disasters.
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USDA-COOPERATIVE STATE RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND EXTENSION SERVICE (CSREES)
Please contact your local Cooperative Extension Office for more information on any of the programs listed below.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)
SARE works to increase knowledge about - and
help farmers and ranchers adopt - practices that are profitable,
environmentally sound, and good to communities. Several types of
competitive grants are awarded by four regional administrative councils.
Research and education grants, generally ranging from $60,000 to
$150,000, fund projects that usually involve scientists, producers and
others in an interdisciplinary approach. Professional development
grants, generally ranging from $20,000 to $90,000, offer educational
opportunities for extension, NRCS, and other agricultural professionals.
Producer grants, typically between $1,000 and $15,000, go to farmers
and ranchers who test innovative ideas and share the results with their
neighbors. Projects address crop and livestock production and marketing,
stewardship of soil and other natural resources, economics and quality
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
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test new crops, practices and systems through on-site experiments and
share the results with other farmers. Grants average about $5,200, and
are capped at $10,000. Farmer Grant applications are due in December.
Partnership Grants are awarded for on-farm research
and demonstration projects developed by agricultural professionals who
work directly with farmers. Grants are capped at $10,000. Partnership
Grant applications are due in November.
Professional Development Grants
allow experienced agricultural educators to develop opportunities for
extension, NRCS, and other agricultural professionals to learn about
sustainable concepts and practices. Proposed projects must address
certain priority areas, and awards will likely range from $60,000 and
$175,000. Preproposal required; the deadline is in May. Invited full proposals are generally due in early November.
Research and Education Grants
involve scientists, producers and others in an interdisciplinary
approach to important issues in sustainable agriculture. Previous grants
have ranged from $4,300 to $331,500; the average grant is around
$90,000. Preproposal required; the deadline is in May. Invited full proposals are generally due in early November.
Sustainable Community Grants involve
organizations such as community nonprofits, Cooperative Extension,
local governments, educational institutions, planning boards, farming
cooperatives, and incorporated citizens' groups. The purpose of the
Sustainable Community Grants program is to reconnect rural
revitalization and farming. Most grants are capped at $10,000.
Sustainable Community Grant applications are due in November.