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Farm Bill

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

The Alliance hosted two " listening sessions " with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to answer questions about the new Agricultural Land Easement Program applications and what NRCS is asking for.

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.

What’s in the Farm Bill for Conservation?

Securing adequate funding for easements to protect working farms, ranches and forests was the Alliance’s top priority for the 2014 Farm Bill. Learn about specific programs »

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.

More information on previous programs in the Farm Bill »

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 »
    • How to lobby »
    • Lobbying Q&A »
    • Read how Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and its executive director Glen Chown impacted the Farm Bill by building relationships with its members of Congress. More »
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Advocates Alerts

September 11: The Senate is back in session now for two weeks before recessing until after the midterm elections.there is still an opportunity to create a surge of support in the Senate for taking up the House-passed charitable giving package, which includes the tax incentive for conservation easement donations. Please ask your Senators to speak to leadership in support of the incentive, and to give a brief statement on the floor. please take a few minutes to read about our proposed 2015 work and answer our brief survey about how our team can better represent you in 2015
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Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

»
House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

»
The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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