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USDA allocates $1.5B for farming and forest conservation


The USDA under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, has unveiled a $1.5 billion funding plan for 2024 through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). This initiative is a part of Administrator’s Investing in America agenda and aims to significantly bolster conservation and climate resilience in farming and forestry.

The investment targets the adoption and expansion of conservation strategies, which in turn benefit farmers economically by reducing costs, creating new revenue streams, and enhancing productivity. The RCPP funding includes two categories - The traditional RCPP Classic and the innovative RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA), the latter enabling partners to directly implement novel conservation methods. 

The program focuses on key areas such as climate-smart agriculture, urban farming, and environmental justice. The USDA emphasizes the inclusion of proposals from historically underserved groups to ensure broad participation and impact.

For those interested in applying, the USDA has detailed the application process on the RCPP website and Additionally, to help applicants, the USDA will host informational webinars on April 23 and May 30.

This funding is part of a larger effort by the administration to support over 180,000 farms and manage over 225 million acres through initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act and Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, highlighting a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action in agriculture.

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