The 2014 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Obama on February 7, provides more than $1 billion for conservation, exceeding all other federal sources of conservation funding. This bill will keep working farms and ranches in family hands, helping to restore and maintain our ways of life. Learn what you can do now to access Farm Bill programs »
News and Updates - May 16, 2014
May 1: Agricultural Land Easements Program Applications Available Now!
Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that applications for conservation programs, including the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE) are now available for land trusts and other organizations.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Sometime in the next month or two, NRCS will ask for applications for a new and exciting program established in the 2014 Farm Bill: the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP aims to fund organizations to use more than one NRCS program (such as the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), involve multiple partners, leverage resources, and result in real and measurable conservation results.
RCPP coordinates the delivery of other conservation programs in a region or specific geographic area. The RCPP will have $170 million a year of funding, with projects chosen and funds allocated by the Secretary, by NRCS in DC, and by State Conservationists.
April 15, 2014
The Alliance hosted two "listening sessions" with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on what worked well and what didn't for the easement programs in the last Farm Bill. These sessions will be used by NRCS to help inform the rules for the new Agricultural Land Easements Program.
February 19, 2014
The Alliance hosted a national call on the Farm Bill to discuss what happens next for rule-making and what you can and should be doing now to thank your members of Congress and take advantage of the provisions in the legislation.
- Listen to the call »
- Stay up-to-date on next steps on rule-making and ways to stay involved: subscribe to Farm Bill Advocates »
What’s in the Farm Bill for Conservation?
Good news: you can apply now for funding for projects on working lands!
Your land trust is encouraged to begin applying through its state office for program funds. If your state office tells you that the funding isn’t available, contact headquarters! NRCS is operating under the old rules governing FRPP & GRP and will do so until an interim final rule is published in the coming months to govern the new ALE program. Each state office will determine funding.
The Alliance is already working to ensure that land trusts get the most out of the new bill. There will be an official public comment period in the coming months, but now is the time for key input.
What You Can Do
Don’t wait for rule-making to be decided before applying for Farm Bill programs. Here's what you can do to get started:
- Thank your member of Congress »
- The government makes decisions about conservation tax incentives, controls millions of dollars in conservation funding and has the potential to greatly help or hurt your conservation work, and your voice can be a powerful force in securing conservation policy. Become an Ambassador »