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News Release

Natural Resources Conservation Service Awards Grants in South Carolina

Natural Resources Conservation Service Awards Grants in South Carolina 
Projects will focus on rotational grazing, feral hog management, outreach to farmers, soil health, silvopasture, and agricultural education

COLUMBIA, SC, September 19, 2013 – NRCS State Conservationist Ann English announced that a total of $410,000 was awarded to Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) recipients in South Carolina. The grants will facilitate seven projects that test and demonstrate innovative approaches to conserving private lands. 

The awardees agree to match the grant amount by at least fifty-percent. State Conservationist English said, "The Conservation Innovation Grant program brings together the strength and innovation of the private and non-profit sectors, academia, producers, and others to develop and test cutting-edge conservation tools and technologies and work side-by-side with producers to demonstrate how solutions work on the land.” 

A Greenville County landowner received nearly $17,000 to develop a pilot study and demonstration site for a whole-farm drought resistant grazing system for sheep and goats. 

Clemson University was awarded nearly $75,000 to help manage and reduce feral hog damage to crops, woodland, and ecosystems throughout the state. The project will use public surveys to identify lands with severe damage, implement traps, and host trainings to help educate landowners on effective feral hog management. 

The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation was awarded $75,000 to assist underserved landowners in Beaufort, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Colleton counties by providing them education and resources to improve and protect their forestland.

The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District will utilize $45,000 to conduct field test on multispecies cover crops in Richland, Dillon, and Marlboro Counties. The project will also include an educational component to help farmers understand the benefits of healthy soil. 

Clemson University was awarded $75,000 to assist farmers in adopting innovative soil conservation technologies and approaches for crop production to enhance soil health, environmental quality, and farm profits. This demonstration project will highlight the use of deep-rooted cover crops for eliminating hardpan layer in coastal plain soils and reducing fuel consumption.

United Farmers, USA, was awarded $50,000 to demonstrate the benefits of silvopasture to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in South Carolina’s 5th and 6th congressional districts. The project will include on farm demonstrations. Silvopasture combines forestry and the grazing of animals in a mutually beneficial way. 

The Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, SC, was awarded nearly $74,000 to establish a 10-acre pasture poultry operation at their children’s farm to improve food security at the institution, as well as provide a learning opportunity for students, and others, in the surrounding area. 

NRCS administers CIG as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address soil health, water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues. 

For a complete list of CIG awardees and more information about NRCS conservation programs online, visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.