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Financial Assistance Programs Eligibility Documentation Fact Sheet

NRCS offers voluntary programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. Through these programs the agency approves contracts to provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land.

Each program has its own eligibility criteria; however, there are some general requirements that apply to all financial assistance programs.

To apply, you will need to establish farm records with the Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Service Center Information Management System (SCIMS) record
  • FSA farm and tract number
  • “Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification”
  • “Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification and Consent Form”
  • “Member Information” or form CCC-902 “Farm Operating Plan”.
General requirements for participant and land eligibility
  • Land must be agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, or other land on which agricultural products, livestock, or forest-related products are produced.
  • Participant must be engaged in agricultural production or forestry management, or has an interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land being offered for enrollment.
    • Records from FSA such as the FSA-156EZ report may be used to identify the applicant as the owner or operator.
    • The production of $1,000 in agricultural products produced, sold, or both may be documented by using one of the following:
      • Estimates using crop type acres and livestock numbers collected as part of the conservation planning inventory and estimating associated dollar values from agricultural statistics data reports or other acceptable data. This may include use of FSA crop acreage reports.
      • Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 Schedule F showing profit or loss from farming.
      • Other accounting records certified by a tax preparer that show profit or loss from farm operations.
      • Non-industrial forest land owners are exempt for the $1000 requirement.
  • Participant must have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract period.
  • Participant must have written permission of the landowner to install a structural practice on leased land.
Information you will need to complete the financial assistance program application 
Business Information
Individual Legal Entity Joint Operation (General Partnership or Joint Venture)
Tax Number: SSN Tax Number: EIN or SSN

Applicants using an EIN –
• DUNS number
• Active registration in SAM.gov
Tax Number: EIN or SSN

Applicants using an EIN –
• DUNS number
• Active registration in SAM.gov
Signature authority
Individual Legal Entity Joint Operation (General Partnership or Joint Venture)
• Individuals can sign for themselves
• Power of attorney
• Form CCC-901 “Member Information”; or
• Form CCC-902 “Farm Operating Plan”; or
• Other legal document clearly designating signature authority such as corporate charter, bylaws, court orders of appointment, trust agreement, last will and testament, etc.
Applicants using an EIN –
• Form CCC-901 “Member Information”; or
• Form CCC-902 “Farm Operating Plan”; or
• Other legal document clearly designating signature authority such as articles of partnership

Applicants using an SSN –
• All individuals can sign for themselves
• Power of attorney

Land information
  • Type of production on the land being offered for enrollment
    • Livestock
    • Crop
  • Ownership of land
    • Private
    • Public
    • Tribal, allotted, ceded, or Indian land
  • Control of land
    • Deed
    • Written lease agreement
    • Is offered land enrolled in any other conservation program?

Historically underserved groups

  • If you wish to apply in any of these categories, you must meet the self-certification requirements. For more information please go to the Limited Resource Farmer/Rancher Self Determination Tool Web site.
  • Limited resource producer
  • Beginning farmer or rancher
  • Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher

If you encounter any problems with the files provided on this page, please contact Webmaster at 406-587-6945.

The above information is also available in a printer-friendly version. This document requires Acrobat Reader.

Financial Assistance Programs Eligibility Documentation (PDF; 237 KB)