The 2002 Farm Bill authorized USDA to use Technical Service Providers (TSPs). The premise behind TSPs is that the public interest to do conservation work and the government’s financial commitment are both at historic levels. The Farm Bill increased conservation investment up $1.8 billion to $3.9 billion. NRCS and our locally-led partners are committed to getting this money out quickly and efficiently. Helping build a new industry of certified professionals from the private sector, non-profit organizations, and public agencies to provide direct technical assistance and deliver conservation activities will help with this commitment.
Technical assistance includes conservation planning and design, layout, installation, and checkout of approved conservation practices. NRCS and conservation districts have traditionally provided these technical services and will continue to do so. What’s new is that USDA will now reimburse producers for technical assistance provided by certified TSPs.