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Applying for Conservation Programs

For the person who has never applied for a federal agricultural program, the conservation application process used by NRCS may seem confusing.  The information provided on this page and on other pages within this website are to provide a roadmap for those new to federal conservation programs. 

Several steps must be completed during the conservation program application process before applying for a specific conservation program offered by NRCS, like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  These steps vary depending on the type of applicant.  The following are a few definitions that might be helpful in the application process.

  • Applicant – the eligible individual or entity that completes the application paperwork for federal farm program assistance and identifies land to be enrolled in the program. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identification number used by the applicant will be used to generate any IRS-1099’s for the contract. The IRS identification number could be an employee identification number (EIN) or social security number (SSN).
  • Individual – any individual who controls the enrolled land and uses their personal social security number (SSN) to apply for conservation program assistance.
  • Entity – any partnership, joint venture, corporation (limited liability or other), estate, trust, non-profit association or group, or unit of state or local government that controls the enrolled land and uses an employee identification number (EIN) or social security number (SSN) to apply for conservation program assistance.

Instructions for conservation program application by type of applicant.

For More Information

Please contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.


For questions about conservation program applications, contact:

Dot Harris, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
614-255-2528