On May 27, 2014, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the selection of the eight CCAs. The designated CCAs reflect priority regions across the country that most closely align with priorities established in the Farm Bill, including the degree to which areas:
1. Cover multiple states;
2. Contain significant agricultural production;
3. Are covered by an existing plan adopted by a Federal, State, or regional authority;
4. Would benefit from water quality or water quantity improvement; and
5. Contain producers that may have a need for assistance in meeting or avoiding a natural resource regulation.
Multiple sources of existing data provided the information used in the evaluation of potential areas, including the National Resources Inventory (NRI), Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) reports, and the 2011 Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) Appraisal, among others. These reports were used to evaluate the extent of agricultural production and relative conservation needs throughout the country.
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