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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 13, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest $35 million in grants to enhance our outreach to the nation’s farmers and ranchers for the delivery and adoption of conservation measures. Proposals are due February 7, 2020, for projects that target agricultural producers in multiple states, including Tribal, socially disadvantaged, limited-resource or beginning farmers and ranchers as well as veteran farmers or ranchers.

“Our top priority is delivering excellent customer service to all of the nation’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners, and these grants are an important tool for reaching underserved communities,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “Through these partnerships we will be better equipped to expand our reach and add to our customer base those producers seeking to implement conservation.

NRCS will rank proposals with an emphasis placed on projects that leverage private resources and that better enable the staff of NRCS and conservation partners to deliver conservation assistance.

Eligible applicants include tribal governments, universities, nonprofit organizations and individuals.

NRCS is accepting proposals in two different categories:

·        Outreach to Assist Historically Underserved Groups – Increase the delivery of conservation assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers through a combination of program outreach and technical assistance in managing natural resources. Historically underserved producers include Tribal, socially disadvantaged, limited-resource or beginning farmers and ranchers and those who are veteran farmers or ranchers. These projects can receive $250,000 to $1 million.

·        Collaboration on Strategic Natural Resource Issues – Projects that provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers for the transfer of technology and development of natural resource tools. These projects can receive $500,000 to $2 million.

NRCS is establishing a competitive process for determining how most national level outreach and mutual partnership agreements will be awarded. The process for applying to state-level agreements remains unchanged. Through these funding opportunities, NRCS wants to ensure that interested entities, which may have not worked with NRCS in the past, have an opportunity to enter into an agreement in support the agency’s outreach efforts.

To learn more about requirements or how to submit a proposal, visit the announcement of program funding on grants.gov.      

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