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News Release

New Program Offers Conservation Reserve Program Training

Jerry Schaefer

New Program Offers Conservation Reserve Program Training for Conservation Professionals

Bozeman--The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is sponsoring a program to train a group of conservation professionals to provide planning, implementation, and management services for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts.

A team led by NRCS, the Farm Service Agency, Montana State University, and representatives from NRCS partner agencies and organizations has collaborated to develop the trainings and make them accessible, convenient, and consistent in Montana and the rest of the country. The new initiative is called the Conservation Reserve Program Readiness Initiative.

Participants in the CRP Readiness Initiative will be trained to create, implement and maintain all or parts of CRP plans based on a detailed knowledge of national and state conservation practices.

In the past, NRCS employees and conservation partners have provided most of the technical services to landowners for CRP planning. The CRP Readiness Initiative offers training to a broader range of professionals to assist landowners in developing conservation plans on lands enrolled or to be enrolled in CRP. Independent conservation professionals, registered technical service providers, members of conservation associations, and employees of organizations with formal connections to NRCS are encouraged to participate.

Participants in the CRP Readiness Initiative will have the opportunity to attend a free two-day training workshop, work directly with a project mentor, participate in online forums and webinars, and sign up for supplemental training courses as needed.

For Montana conservation professionals, training workshops will be held in Great Falls, April 4 and 5, 2012, at the Hampton Inn, 2301 14th Street, SW, 406-453-2675, and Dickinson, N.D., May 16 and 17, 2012. A block of rooms has been reserved for participants at the Hampton Inn; use “CRP Readiness” when making reservations.

Some of the topics to be covered during the workshops include: understanding the landowner’s objectives, developing a CRP plan according to national and state guidelines, and CRP best practices for conservation. During the summer of 2012, the training curriculum will be transitioned to an online format, which will be available for a course fee.

Interested conservation professionals can visit for more information on the program and to sign up for a training workshop.


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