$1.5 Billion boost for climate-smart farming by USDA

USAgNet - 04/12/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a historic investment to transform farming and forest management. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that as part of Administrator’s agenda, $1.5 billion is allocated for 2024 under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). This initiative aims to encourage farmers and forest landowners to adopt practices that bolster conservation and address climate change challenges effectively.

This funding is part of broader efforts by the administration, complemented by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. These programs together are set to enhance over 180,000 farms and 225 million acres over the next five years.

The RCPP is divided into two funding streams - RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). The Classic approach uses contracts and easements to implement projects, whereas the AFA encourages innovative practices through direct partnerships with agricultural producers.

In 2024, the RCPP will focus on supporting climate-smart agriculture, urban agriculture, conservation, and environmental justice initiatives. Historically underserved entities are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

The USDA is not only funding these initiatives but also facilitating knowledge sharing through upcoming webinars, details of which can be found on the RCPP website. Proposals are currently accepted through the RCPP portal with instructions available on Grants.gov. This concerted effort underscores the USDA's commitment to sustainable farming and environmental stewardship.

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