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Feature articles, news releases or photos
Application cut-off period extended for EQIP and CSP IRA funding in Tennessee
New cut-off period set for April 21, 2023
NASHVILLE, March 27, 2023 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee announced an application cut-off period of Thursday, March 23, 2023, for Tennessee agricultural producers and forest landowners to submit applications to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program to adopt climate smart practices through the Inflation Reduction Act. The new application cut-off period is Friday, April 21, 2023.
The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history and is estimated to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers gain access to conservation assistance and apply conservation to millions of acres of land.
“This is a once-in-a-generation investment in climate-smart practices that create value and economic opportunities for Tennessee producers,” said NRCS Tennessee State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower. “Agriculture plays a critical role in Tennessee’s effort to address climate change and we’re using this funding to bolster our existing programs, maximize climate benefits, and foster other environmental benefits across the landscape.”
The Inflation Reduction Act provides increased funding levels over five years to support USDA’s conservation programs that yield climate change mitigation benefits, beginning in fiscal year 2023 and rapidly building over four years. This investment means that more producers will have access to conservation assistance through several NRCS conservation programs, including:
- $8.45 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- $4.95 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
- $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program
- $1.4 billion for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
Producers interested in assistance for Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Inflation Reduction Act or Conservation Stewardship Program – Inflation Reduction Act should apply by March 23 to be considered for funding in the current cycle. However, Tennessee NRCS accepts producer applications for its voluntary conservation programs year-round. Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from producers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities.
For more information, contact your local NRCS office or contact Robert Boettcher, Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, at email@example.com, 615-277-2544.
Click here to print full version of this news release.
Our partners are experts in their fields and understand the challenges in their own backyards. Through RCPP we can tap into that knowledge, in partnership with producers and USDA, to come up with lasting solutions to the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and landowners face. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of public-private partnership at its best, made possible through these RCPP investments.”
NRCS Tennessee announces March 23 application deadline for FY 2023 CSP Classic
NASHVILLE, February 10, 2023 – NRCS Tennessee State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower announced the fiscal year 2023 CSP Classic application deadline. Tennessee agricultural producers who wish to be considered for funding this fiscal year should apply by Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Farmers encouraged to keep the stubble during no-till November
NASHVILLE, November 1, 2022 — The Natural Resources Conservation Service is encouraging Tennessee farmers to keep the tillage equipment in the machine shed during No-Till November. First launched in 2017, the NRCS project is a conservation twist on the national cancer awareness No-Shave November.
USDA opens People’s Garden Initiative to gardens nationwide
NASHVILLE, Sept. 14, 2022 – The USDA is expanding its People’s Garden Initiative to include eligible gardens nationwide. School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural, suburban and urban areas can be recognized as a “People’s Garden.”
New financial assistance, easements data dashboards now available
NASHVILLE, August 26, 2022 - USDA’s NRCS offers financial assistance programs that deliver voluntary conservation practices across the Nation’s working lands. Farmers.gov; FAPD; Easement Program.
Funding available for innovative partner-driven projects
NASHVILLE, August 26, 2022 – The USDA NRCS is offering funding for innovative partner-driven projects to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and soil health in three RCPP areas in Tennessee.
USDA offers conservation program opportunity for climate-smart agriculture
NASHVILLE, August 25, 2022 – The USDA NRCS is announcing an opportunity to implement climate-smart agriculture and forestry in 2023. Producers in Tennessee who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources.
USDA NRCS in Tennessee now accepting FY 2023 EQIP applications
NASHVILLE, August 24, 2022– Producers in Tennessee who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their farmland have until Friday, November 18, 2022, to submit their application for financial assistance through the NRCS.
USDA announces new opportunities to improve nutrient management
NASHVILLE, August 15, 2022 – The USDA welcomed the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which will deliver $19.5 billion in new conservation funding to support climate-smart agriculture. This historic funding will bolster the new steps that NRCS delivers.
USDA to invest $15 Million in innovative projects for climate-smart agriculture, urban agriculture and addressing invasive species
NASHVILLE, Aug. 10, 2022 – The USDA announced today it will invest $15 million this year for the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Classic program. Through CIG, grantees work to address our nation's water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health and wildlife.
USDA boosts conservation on grazing lands, support for farmers, ranchers
NASHVILLE, August 9, 2022 – The USDA is investing up to $12 million in partnerships that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands.
USDA names first three lenders for Heirs’ Property Relending Program
NASHVILLE, August 18, 2022 – The USDA announced that Akiptan, Inc., the Cherokee Nation Economic Development Trust Authority and the Shared Capital Cooperative have been approved or conditionally approved as intermediary lenders through the Heirs’ Property Relending Program.
Tennessee Articles, Photos and Videos
State Conservationist Virtual Address for TACD Annual Meeting
State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower highlights NRCS programs and activities for the 2021 Annual TACD convention held in Memphis.
Click here to view video.
Partnership: USDA and AgrAbility
A Natural Resources Conservation Service highlight video that discusses the ongoing partnership between USDA and AgrAbility in Tennessee.
Click here to view the video.
Tennessee Pathways Internship Program
Highlight video. The Pathways Program offers a clear path of opportunity with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service in meeting our mission of Helping People Help the Land. Students from high school through post-graduate school can apply to participate in the available programs. For more information about the Pathways Internship Program and other programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/careers and www.usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads. Created May 2020. Follow us on Twitter: @NRCS_TN
Click here to view the video.
Hightower’s Quarterly Hustle
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Hightower Weekly Update
NRCS State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower's highlight video of conservation activities in Tennessee.
Click here to view.