Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that up to $52.4 million in financial assistance is available for competitive grants to protect the nation's natural resources through the cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative. USDA has allocated $5.8 million in financial assistance for multi-state and national projects that offer innovative approaches to working with socially disadvantaged, beginning or limited resource farmers and ranchers and help further enhance conservation outcomes on agricultural lands and private non-industrial forest lands.
"President Obama is particularly interested in using partnerships to pursue innovative ways to increase our nation's renewable energy production and reduce the effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions," Vilsack said. "This program offers many opportunities to help landowners and operators seek new ways to remain profitable, such as participating in markets that reward them for sequestering carbon and limiting greenhouse gas emissions."
Proposals for state projects must be submitted to State Conservationist by April 23. Multi-state and national projects must be submitted to the Chief, USDA-NRCS National Office in Washington, D.C. by the same date. In addition, USDA is seeking comment on how CCPI can contribute toward new methods of renewable energy production and conservation, reduce the effects of climate change, and reduce net carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Comments must be submitted by April 8.