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Equity in Conservation Outreach Projects 2023

USDA is investing up to $70 million in cooperative agreements to support outreach to underserved producers and communities about opportunities with NRCS for natural resource conservation, climate-smart agriculture and forestry.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $70 million in partnerships that will improve outreach to underserved producers and communities to expand access to conservation assistance and career opportunities. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the selection of 139 projects with entities for one- to three-year engagement that encourage participation in NRCS programs, especially in underserved communities and among urban and small-scale producers.  Projects will extend outreach to producers who are beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veterans, and will highlight opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. 

The Equity in Conservation Outreach Cooperative Agreements include projects that:   

  • Promote the benefits of NRCS programs through education or demonstration of conservation practices.  
  • Develop community conservation partnerships that engage underserved producers to plan and protect farmland ecosystems, watersheds and wildlife habitat in underserved communities.  
  • Inform small-scale or urban agriculture producers about opportunities to participate in conservation programs.   
  • Support education on, planning for and adoption of climate smart conservation practices.  

Projects will reach underserved groups through a combination of program outreach and technical assistance in one or more of the following five NRCS priority areas:

  • Addressing local natural resource issues.    
  • Promoting conservation career opportunities.    
  • Expanding adoption of climate-smart conservation.   
  • Encouraging conservation in small-scale and urban agriculture.   
  • Developing conservation leadership skills and opportunities.   

Read the news release announcing the fiscal year 2023 funding opportunity.

Read the news release announcing the selected projects.

Questions about these projects?

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2023 Project List

Recipient Org-Website Award-Amount Project-Info Geographic-Reach
Northeastern State University $ 258,978 Northeastern State University (NSU), a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) located within the Cherokee Nation, will educate 6th-12th grade youth on careers in natural resource conservation and other agricultural subjects. Outreach coordinators will also offer training workshops to underserved farmers in the area on conservation practices, how they can improve their operations, and applying for NRCS assistance. OK
Urban Transformation Network $ 1,000,000 The Chicagoland-Illinois Collaborative Project, supported by the Urban Transformation Network, (UTN), and it's partners aims to provide conservation assistance to underserved producers and communities in Chicagoland area, and downstate Illinois. Through various programs and activities, the project diverse and inclusive participation in conservation programs, introduces conservation planning and climate smart practices and offers information on careers in agriculture, and related sciences. The program will also provide outreach and technical assistance to assist underserved producers. The project collaborates with organizations such as Metropolitan Farms, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, Daley City College and more. It also provides classroom instruction, virtual learning, hands-on training, field trips, and excursions to support learning and assistance opportunities to juveniles required to perform community service. IL
Restoring Faith $ 209,137 The program provides training to New Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (NBSDVFR) in eight USDA Strikeforce counties in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The educational workshops will focus on USDA programs and services, the utilization of no-till planting to improve marginal pastureland, the introduction of native grasses into cropping system, the results of on-farm cover crop demonstration plots by underserved farmers, and educating grade school students about farming practices and careers directly associated with agriculture and natural resources. will increase NBSDVFR knowledge base about soil health, soil quality, no-till planting, cover crops in pasture management and natural resource management. AR;MS;LA
James Bunch Hip Hop Farmers $ 613,029 The purpose of this project is to provide training to underserved individuals including 6 adults and 30 socially disadvantaged youth, in small-scale vegetable farming using climate smart conservation practices. The objective of this project is to establish demonstration farms for small scale vegetable production, aimed at strengthening food systems in underserved communities across Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Project Team will organize six informational workshops throughout the year to educate participants about USDA programs and services. AR;MS;TN
Regents of the University of Minnesota $ 235,941 Green Lands Blue Waters (GLBW) and AM Root Builders will implement two rounds of an intensive graduate student/early career mentorship, professional/personal development and conservation training cohort. The objective is to equip and encourage twelve future leaders to serve small-scale, underserved producers through careers in agricultural conservation. Each eight-month program for mentees will develop conservation leadership skills through a virtual training series, an in-person group mentoring training to include an on-farm/farmer visit, a formal one-to-one mentorship component, and science communications coaching. Participants in the cohort, including mentees, mentors, and project collaborators will be representative underserved groups. IL;IA;WI;MO;MN
The Wanderland Society $ 264,283 The Wanderland Society's Reach, Teach, and Grow Outreach Program promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource conservation in underserved communities. It recruit students, farmers, and ranchers to expand their networks and knowledge while introducing the principles and benefits of conservation practices. Through workshops, training, job fairs, mentorship activations, and other outreach activities, the program encourages conservation in small-scale and urban agriculture and develops conservation leadership skills for conservation in underserved communities. GA
Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust $ 541,457 RGALT will assist NRCS in achieving our shared goal of providing equitable access to conservation programs to all eligible participants, especially those who are underserved or face systemic barriers to participation. This project will build on RGALT's previous outreach efforts and enhance their capacity to promote NRCS programs, maintain partnerships that encourage underserved producers to protect land, and educate beginner, small-scale, and urban producers about climate-smart conservation methods. RGALT will accomplish these goals through community-led public events, workshops, individual outreach, and digital outreach. NM
Dr. Heriberto "Nolo" Martinez n/a $ 696,431 The project focuses on states and regions of the U.S. that have a high concentration of Hispanic farmers and landowners. It amis to develop bilingual programs, train culturally proficient professionals, and encourage proactive outreach to support this growing population. Futhermore,the project will promote sustainable land use practices, enhance environmental health, and contribute to a more diverse and stronger agricultural sector in the United States. Stakeholders, such as farmers, community leaders, and partner organizations, will actively participate in the project's development and implementation to ensure its success and long-term impact. Nationwide;CA;FL;GA;IN;KY;LA;MS;NC;TN;VA;CAR/PR
Mississippi State University $ 696,546 This project aims to address barriers by building a foundation of outreach and capacity building programs initiated by Mississippi State University Extension Service Coastal Conservation and Restoration Program. The project will reach historically disadvantaged and beginner producers, in addition to secondary and postsecondary students in the six coastal counties of Mississippi and Mobile County in Alabama. Project activities include the construction of demonstration nursery sites, hands-on training workshops, mentorship of students in plant care, continued technical assistance for producers, and networking events to connect producers, educators, government officials, students, and other stakeholders. Through these activities the team aims to boost the nursery industry for native wetland plants, produce locally sourced plants, bring money back into Mississippi and Alabama nursery industries, and create a cohort of knowledgeable and skilled local individuals who can support and collaborate in the restoration of coastal habitats along the Gulf Coast. AL;MS
Center For Rural Affairs $ 391,156 The Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) will continue the successful Conservation Fellows program for two 12-member, 18-month cohorts in 2024 and 2025. CFRA and partners will recruit and enroll producers from beginning, Latino, Native American, Black or African American, veteran, limited resource, urban, small acreage, and refugee farmer communities. The Fellows will complete a rigorous program, including an eight-class curriculum on conservation practices and programs, climate impacts and adaptation, and leadership skills and opportunities. They will also attend additional agricultural educational events, meet regularly with farmer mentors, and design, implement, and ultimately showcase conservation projects on land they manage. NE
University of New Mexico Department of Biology $ 141,809 This project supports student awareness and experience in multiple aspects of careers related to agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. Students from underserved backgrounds will have the opportunity to experience real-world in science. By empowering students to conduct research, outreach, planning, and fundraising, they will develop the leadership skills necessary to begin transforming agriculture to meet the visions and priorities of underserved producers. Additionally, this project provides students and producers with foundations to access financial assistance for researching and implementing climate-smart practices that are the most beneficial to them. NM
Jeff Coles n/a $ 139,088 The objective of this proposal to partner with an organization to improve equity for socially disadvantaged farmers. The goal is to enhance community resource facilitation through a series of network meetings, building and strengthening community partnerships and marketing in BIPOC urban communities. The project aims to identify and develop new urban farmers and provide leadership in promoting healthy living by emphasizing conservation and nutrition as important resources in combating food injustice and fostering a healthier urban community with agriculture growth and stability. KY
Charles Sherrod Community Development Corporation $ 1,000,000 The CSCDC aims to increase conservation practices among to underserved farmers in Southwest Georgia. The organization intents to broaden opportunities for Black farmers, landowners, and communities in Southwest Georgia by implementing land-based demonstration models, providing training and a targeted outreach education program in collaboration with three Land Grant Universities. This initiative will foster success for Black farmers, landowners, and youth in the agricultural field, while also connecting underserved communities to land and access fresh food. GA
Connecting Kids Inside Out n/a $ 843,336 The initiative 'Connecting BIPOC Communities to Ag' aims expand access to conservation assistance for underserved producers and communities, while also fostering opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. The specific objectives of this initiative are to: a) Promote and strengthen relationships between NRCS and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers and producers. b) Provide training and technical assistance to promote conservation in small-scale and urban agriculture, and c) Offer educational experiences that increase awareness of the interconnectedness of agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences to daily life, and inspire interest in agriculture and conservation careers among BIPOC youth residing in underserved communities. OH
Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts $ 831,008 The objective of this program is to enhance the participation of socially disadvantaged and underserved individuals in Oklahoma in locally led processes and in conservation leadership programs and positions. This is done with the aim of promoting the adoption of climate smart conservation practices overall. The anticipated result is that by providing personalized peer to peer outreach, education, and local technical support, this project will enhance the equitable allocation of conservation funding, leadership positions, and professionals within Oklahoma's conservation partnership. OK
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians $ 272,579 This project will provide increased technical support to small-scale agriculture projects and land stewardship within the Red Cliff community. This will be achieved through three key focus areas: 1) Enhancing the capacity and expertise of the Farm's staff by providng funding and opportunities for professional development. 2) Providing additional technical support to the broader Red Cliff community and Red Cliff producers such as agriculture, natural resource management, and food sovereignty. 3) Conducting outreach initiative to promote youth leadership, interest, and skill development in the fields of natural resources, agriculture, and food sovereignty. WI
Clemson University $ 509,011 The goal of this project is to remove barriers preventing the flow of information and implementation of NRCS climate-smart opportunities amoung underserved producers and communities in South Carolina. It aims to establish and promote career opportunities in conservation with NRCS and other organizations, leveraging knowledge gained from previous focus groups to expand efforts promoting climate-smart practices. By increasing awareness of funding opportunities, this project will greatly enhance the ability of small-scale and urban farms in South Carolina to mitigate long-term effects of climate change on their operations. SC
World Farmers Inc. $ 696,848 Advancing Conservation and Building Leadership in Immigrant and Refugee Communities in Massachusetts is a three-year project that supports over260 small-scale vegetable producers in with cooperative conservation planning. World Farmers Inc will assist these producers in addressing conservation challenges and fostering climate resilience on shared-use farmland Through this initiative, the project aims to nurture leadership opportunities and career paths in conservation for underserved and social disadvantaged farmers, as well as for students within the farming communities. MA
New North Florida Cooperative $ 834,420 The mission of this program is to initiate the implementation of climate-smart soil and plant health monitoring activities in order to redue agriculture input costs and enhance yields on historically underserved producer farms located in the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. This will be achieved through the utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and Pix4DFields software to monitor crop and soil health. The objective is to offer technical assistance and tools to these producers, aiding them in the management of their soil, water, fertilizer, and carbon emissions. Additionally, it will potentially provide an additional source of income for the participating producers in the project. AL;FL;GA;MS
Red Hook Initiative $ 169,721 The Red Hook Farms apprenticeship for youth farmers offers mentoring and training for a cohort of local teens engaged in learning, growing, and educating their community of Red Hook, Brooklyn. The 9-month apprenticeship follows the growing season so that youth farmers are deeply engaged from seed to sale. This project will support the hiring and training of 20 youth farmers, provide opportunities for the youth to share knowledge with children and the public, grow and distribute fresh and affordable produce, and caretake a much-needed green space for the Red Hook community. NY
University of Connecticut $ 225,833 The purpose of this project is to promote Climate Smart Conservation (CSC) practices among urban farmers, urban woodlot owners and other applicable underserved communities. The goals of this project are to: (1) encourage implementation of CSC practices among urban producers and woodlot owners through outreach and engagement; (2) introduce urban Connecticut communities, with particular emphasis on the Latine community, to Climate Smart conservation; and (3) inspire the next generation of youth to enter careers in conservation, agriculture, and other relevant fields. Outcomes include implementation of CSC practices by urban growers, an increase in awareness of conservation concepts in Lantine communities, the introduction of youth from underserved communities to these concepts and an increased likelihood of youth pursuing careers in agriculture, natural resource conservation, and other relevant fields. CT
Holmes County Mississippi Prosperity Corporation Corp. n/a $ 540,942 The proposed project aims to address energy resource concerns and assist underserved small-scale farmers in implementing energy conservation practices. This will involve introducing innovative technologies, such as hydroponic production and other protected agriculture practices, to small-scale, limited-resource farm operations. The project's gol is to assist these farmers identify and implement energy efficiency practices, ensuring long-term food security and technology adoption. This will be achieved by connecting them with USDA/NRCS conservation programs and alternative market opportunities. MS
Trevecca Nazarene University $ 306,449 The Trevecca Urban Farm Conservation Project plans to extend its youth conservation job program, TreeCycle, to offer year-round programming that will enhance tree canopy in priority areas of the community. The program will create employment opportunities for local youth in conservation, educate them about NRCS best practices from the CSAF Mitigation Activities List, and utilize NRCS professionals and conservation non-profit partners to teach about careers in conservation. As part of the TUF Conservation Project ,youth interns will be hired for a 5-week internship to gain practical experience in conservation urban agriculture and urban forestry. They will implement CSAF Mitigation Activities at the Trevecca Urban Farm and the surrounding underserved community. TN
North Alabama Agriplex Foundation $ 253,148 The North Alabama Agriplex (NAA) is expanding outreach to underserved farmers and students, aiming to educate the community about conservation practices that encourage informed educated decisions improve ecological impact. The NAA's efforts primaryily focus on underserved farmers, including women, minorities, and tribal populations. The goal is to provide exposure them to experts and successful farms, with an emphasis on NRCS-EQIP practices such as cover cropping, no-till and minimum till concepts, and livestock rotational grazing. To achieve this, the NAA will utilize direct in-person and webinar-based group training, individual on-farm assistance, organized educational tours, print publications, school outreach, and numerous existing digital resources from Extension and USDA entities. AL
National Baptist Convention USA Inc. $ 383,350 The Conservation Heirship and Mentoring (CHAMP) Project is a outreach project focused on promoting conservation equity. It's aim is to address and elimate barriers faced by underserved and socially disadvantaged African Americans Farmers Ranchers (AAFRs), Women, and Youth in accessing agricultural resources such as USDA-NRCS practices and programs. The project also aims to assist in maintaining heir property ownership and providing agricultural programs and career opportunities for students. AL;MS
Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance $ 440,961 This project will help NRCS expand its outreach capacity through collaboration with Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance (MMFA). More farmers will be reached, more NRCS programs will be accessed, greater profits will be achieved, and knowledge of environmental sustainability will be shared, along with the implementation of ecosystem protection initiatives. This project seeks to achieve the following goals: 1) Link producers to NRCS Programs through workshops and training to create more participation in conservation plans and financing programs. 2) Recruit and train students and farmers to become conservationist of the future. 3) Develop an Agricultural Climate Smart Strategic Plan for the 10-county area. 4) Develop a pilot aquaponics program to illustrate how technology can help mitigate, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity, and food insecurity in the community. MS
Kentucky State University $ 649,152 The primary goals of the project are to develop competent and dedicated scientists with knowledge of and sensitivity for a culturally diverse agricultural workforce, and to promote and expand adoption of regenerative farming practices by low income, urban farmers and underserved rural farmers and landowners in order to advance the transition to RF through outreach and on-farm field demonstration trials.This project has four objectives as follows: generate and synthesize in-field data to provide evidence demonstrating soil health benefits and economic value gained through RF; establish an integrated educational and outreach program, through classroom teaching and hands-on experiential training to expand the adoption of RF; quantify and track soil health and economic benefits of regenerative farming (mixing cover crops, reduced tillage, crop rotation and use of biochar) through routine in-field emission measurements and soil sampling; and examine the barriers (educational, training, technical and resource) to adoption of RF to minimize the negative impacts of the transition by underserved communities. KY
Berks County Conservation District $ 100,000 The Berks County Conservation District will create a central demonstration garden in the City of Reading to provide both technical support and educational assistance. The City of Reading can benefit from this project by reducing food insecurity, increasing resiliency against the impacts of climate change, educating underserved student and adult populations, and establishing natural landscaping and habitats. By creating a physical location that residents can come to for assistance, the district hopes to provide guidance and motivation for the community to continue building green spaces throughout the city. PA
Skagit Conservation District $ 258,905 Skagit, Whatcom, and Snohomish Conservation Districts are collaborating to establish will create a community-led outreach program specially for Latino/x communities. This initiative aims to address the local natural resource needs of these historically community members. The primary objective of the outreach campaign is not to enhance understanding of NRCS services and planning among the community, but also to foster the development of community partnerships. WA
Pheasants Forever, Inc. $ 577,789 The goals of this proposal are to increase awareness around career opportunities that Pheasant Forever and Quail Forever offer, through direct engagement with HBCUs (Historically Black College or University), 1890 HBUCs and TCUs (Tribal College and Universities). Additionally, it aims to provide training opportunities and awareness to historically underrepresented communities by introducing conservation principles through the Journey to Conservation Careers program. Lastly, the proposal aims to create career internship opportunities for students attending minority-serving institutions, such as HBCUs, 1890 HBCUs, and TCUs. The internship program will provide ten 3-month internship opportunities for undergraduate students from minority-serving institutions who work alongside senior level Farm Bill Biologists in USDA Service Centers. Nationwide
Let's Grow Akron, Inc. $ 300,000 Let's Grow Akron will continue to promote and expand their community garden and community compost initiatives. The objectives will include increasing community awareness and education about conservation practices and urban agriculture, as well as diverting local food and yard waste from local landfills. Support will be given to 25-30 community food garden sites in economically disadvantaged areas through training, financial, and technical assistance. OH
Urban Harvest STL $ 366,790 Urban Harvest STLs Agricultural Professional Preparedness Program (APPP) is a multi-step, hands-on job training initiative designed to make urban agriculture accessible to underserved growers living in Low-Income Low-Access (LILA) areas. APPP offers distinct opportunities for participants to engage in agricultural training that aligns with their farming interests, time available, and long-term educational, farming, and professional goals. Through a Farming for Community Assistance Program and a more intensive Farmer in Training program, participants will work alongside farm staff to learn farming techniques and become equipped to start their own small-scale urban farm or contribute to a larger farming initiative. MO
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation $ 689,120 This project will significantly expand technical assistance on the conservation of pollinators, monarch butterflies, and other beneficial insects to underserved (HU) producers and NRCS partners through three strategies: provide direct technical assistance to farmers, community gardeners, and other HU NRCS partners; assisting local field offices in the development of conservation plans for HU clients; provide training and outreach to NRCS staff, partners, and clients; and supplying local HU farmers, community gardeners, and other NRCS partners with plants to support habitat projects in the region where the position is based. New hires will prioritize pollinator- or biodiversity-related NRCS technical materials for translation and to building relationships with NRCS clients for whom English is a second language. They will also oversee translation services and support Xerces-NRCS outreach efforts to non-English speakers. Thirdly, the initiative will continue to expand the collaboration with the National Organization of Professional Hispanic NRCS Employees (NOPHNRCSE) to support outreach and training for their membership, as well as Hispanic students exploring careers in biodiversity conservation. CA;FL;MN;TN;OR;TX;UT;WA;WI;CAR-PR
Institute for Community Research, Inc. $ 241,109 This project will build on the successes and utilize the lessons learned from the Institute for Community Research's (ICR's) Climate Smart Ag in CT Cities project to increase connections between young urban farmers and CT's conservation offices (Conservation District Offices and the Office of the State Conservationist). This project will utilize the activity plans created collaboratively by youth and Conservation District Office Directors through previous projects to improve accessibility and utilization of Climate Smart Agricultural Practices (CSAPs) by new urban farmers in CT through workshops, events, and access to community gardens and farms where these practices are put into action. CT
The KKAC Organization $ 1,000,000 This pilot project will demonstrate climate-smart practices on working lands and forestland managed and owned by underserved individuals in the Lower Mississippi River region of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Through this funding, KKAC is also expanding its Sowing Seeds for Success Youth Program designed to provide underserved students from Lee, Phillips, St. Francis, and Monroe counties in Arkansas, with the knowledge and skills needed to enter and advance in agricultural careers. Additionally, KKAC plans to increase applications for and access to NRCS programs among historically underserved landowners, farmers, and ranchers in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. AR;MS;LA
Organic Association of Kentucky $ 261,296 The Organic Association of Kentucky's (OAK) project in collaboration with NRCS Kentucky, aims to increase awareness of and participation in NRCS programs, services, and leadership opportunities among underserved producers and communities in Kenticky's agriculture and nayural resources conservation sectors. OAK, deeply rooted in Kentucky's in agricultural community, will provide NRCS with unique access to small, underserved, and organic farms in the Southeast. Through its existing statewide network of farmers, expertise in conservation practices, and past partnerships with NRCS, the project foster stronger relationships, enhance resource accessibility, and promote long term equity in local conservation programs and investments. KY
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension $ 452,066 This three-year project aims to provide conservation assistance to underserved small acreage farmers and residents of a U.S.-Mexico border urban area. Additionally, it seeks to create awareness of natural resource careers among predominantly Hispanic and Native American students through culturally relevant conservation experiences and community outreach. The project will focus on addressing water sustainability issues and improving the the knowledge of small acreage farmers, urban residents, and students about conservation practices for water sustainability. TX
Blacksmith Fork Conservation District $ 206,805 This agreement aims to create three committee gardens that serve as educational hubs for underserved communities and veterans. These gardens will provide infrastructure, training, and club activities that focus on teaching skills related to food propagation, growth, harvesting, and preservation. By addressing food insecurities, promoting gardening education, and encouraging investment in specialty crop cultivation, these programs will benefit the underserved community and contribute to food security. Additionally, the project includes a handicap-accessible garden that allows individuals with disabilities to participate in agriculture and provide food for their families and the local community. The Cache County Refugee Immigration Garden, which supports hundreds of refugees from various countries, and the Stokes Nature Center project, with outdoor classrooms and urban gardens, are part of this initiative. The agreement also supports the conservation districts in hosting Urban Ag Outreach events to promote urban agriculture and the Sustainable Food Program. UT
Chester Agriculture Center $ 348, 016 Working cooperatively, Chester Agricultural Center, Our Core. and Rise & Root Farm will engage in workshops and a mentorship program so that underserved and socially disadvantaged communities will have improved access to NRCS programs and career opportunities in conservation. The project will create videos featuring underserved farmers and conservationists implementing NRCS programs for NRCS and project partner use. Also, The mentor farmers will engage the mentee cohorts in NRCS climate-smart farming and conservation strategies. The program will build community while removing barriers in training spaces for underserved people. NY
Southside Community Land Trust $ 588,181 Southside Community Land Trust's project expands conservation assistance to underserved producers and communities. In addition, it provides opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. SCLT engages in 3 activities to advance the program purpose and priorities: 1) The Leadership and Learning Advisory Group is a community conservation partnership that engages underserved producers and communities in efforts to address local natural resource issues while planning and protecting farmlands ecosystems, etc. 2) Demonstration locations and workshops promote NRCS programs and conservation practices while informing and supporting small scale and urban producers to engage with NRCS and adopt new practices. 3) A youth program USDA/NRCS leadership module promotes conservation career opportunities while also preparing a diverse, next generation of producers and conservationists. RI;MA
Homer Soil and Water Conservation District $ 220,698 Expanding Support for Village-Driven Agriculture in Rural Alaska proposes to meet the need of tribal and remote villages in Alaska by increasing their food sovereignty and security through small-scale agriculture. The Homer Soil and Water Conservation District aims to provide technical assistance, outreach, and education to support beginning farmers, expand inclusivity and support for tribal communities and off-road villages, establish relationships with underserved rural communities and Tribal Conservation Districts, and create experiential education opportunities for rural Alaska's farmers. AK
Tonya Lewis n/a $ 594,051 The primary goal of this project is to collaborate with NRCS and other community partners to expand assistance to underserved communities and provide opportunities for pursuing careers in agriculture and natural resource conservation. The project aims to offer hands-on training and experiences to young, new, beginning, women, BIPOC, small scale, urban farmers and specialty crop producers. Through this initiative, participants will gain knowledge and technical skills in the areas of soil and water conservation, wildlife, forest management, sustainable farming, and conservation practices. Additionally, they will receive valuable information about USDA and NRCS resources, programs, grants, and career opportunities. TX
Royalty One Inc. n/a $ 697,000 The goal of this project is to increase the number of African American youth who quality and compete for Pathways Internship Program positions within NRCS. Through Royalty One, Inc youth will gain practical management and leadership experience and learn about NRCS career paths. The purpose is to guide these youth towards pursing a four-year college degree in agriculture or related field aligned directly with NRCS career opportunities and to view NRCS as an employer of choice. MS;CA;IL;OK;TX;TN
Tikkun Farm, Inc. $ 615,341 Tikkun Farm, founded in 2015. will advance NRCS priorities by empowering low-income people of color in the area with education and resources. With a 7-year history of servicing underserved populations, Tikkun Farm will build on the trust established to expand conservation efforts and educational opportunities. This will be achieved though the establishment of demonstration projects that serve as examples of NRCS Climate-Smart Conservation Activities. OH
Eden's Rose Foundation $ 623,188 The Westhill Neighborhood of Albany, New York, is an urban food desert and underserved community lacking access to green space and facing environmental, social, and information justice deficits, as well as contamination of natural resources. Developing equitable solutions and involving the community in climate-smart conservation plans can address these issues and improve community and environmental health. This can be achieved through localized greening activities, information dissemination, and career training. NY
Jimmy Vo n/a $ 682,901 This project's objectives include improving soil health and water quality on the project site following NRCS conservation practices, while conducting 10 workshops and field days in the first year to reach at least 100 participants and increase awareness and adoption of sustainable land management practices. conservation program aims to improve soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat in the underserved Wichita region through education, technical assistance, and financial support. The project will address soil degradation, water pollution, food insecurity, and habitat loss driven by unsustainable land practices, climate change, and urbanization. By empowering program participants to adopt sustainable practices, the project will enhance agricultural sustainability, promote biodiversity, and increase community resilience. KS
Africulture n/a $ 246,337 Africulture is an agriculture education and outreach provider for small, beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers in Virginia and the surrounding region. This partnership will continue forging cooperation and building trust with underserved and socially disadvantage farmers in Northern Va., Piedmont, Southside, and Tidewater Virginia, with a targeted focus on counties in the north of the Commonwealth, the Piedmont, and the Tidewater and Central regions. VA
Country Roads Animal Sanctuary $ 445,596 The purpose of this agreement is to harness the energy, interest, and curiosity of youth in STEM related disciplines and give them the hands-on, educational experiences. The goal is to provide them with a vision of future careers by introducing them to the civic role of conservation districts and partnerships with NRCS. Country Roads Farm Cooperative, its board of directors, and partner organizations seek to improve participation rates by providing meaningful, positive, outdoor, hands-on STEM educational experiences for K-12 students. Using the skills and experience gained as an educator, Country Roads intends to partner with three local high schools and create a curriculum that can be duplicated across schools in similarly populated regions in Southwest Washington. WA
Cherokee Nation $ 594,232 Cherokee Nation (CN) is proposing to implement a needed internship program within the Cherokee Nation Natural Resources (CNNR) department to fill the existing gap of paid internship availability to Cherokee students. The goal for this program is to promote educational degrees in conservation and natural resources for Cherokee students through targeted internships that result in employment in related fields. CNNR is partnering with CN's Career Services (CNCS) and Education Services (CNES), as well as Northeastern State University (NSU) to achieve this goal and the objectives of this project. This project supports expanding conservation assistance to underserved communities and providing opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences through the proposed internship program. OK
Central Arkansas Sphinx Foundation $ 697,000 The project will assist urban customers in establishing backyard gardens, raised beds, and container- grown vegetables. The project will provide workshops, field trips, conservation consultants, demonstration gardens/farms, and educational materials to increase the awareness of agronomic, conservation practices, and NRCS programs. The project will work in partnership with individuals, community gardens, churches, food pantries, non-profits, and others addressing food insecurity. AR
Pend Oreille Conservation District $ 461,520 NEW-CRAE seeks to conduct regenerative agriculture outreach and education for residents of Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Ferry counties, some of the smallest, lowest income, and most rural counties in Washington State. For youth education, POCD will a regional education/outreach coordinator who will create content and curriculum for ag programs and educators, and will manage an internship program which aims to host 1-3 young adults to assist with all aspects of the agreement. This agreement will also allow POCD to increase adoption of these practices with underserved producers, benefiting soil health and natural resource conservation in the beautiful Inland Northwest. WA
Halo Hands Foundation $ 999,992 The Community Grows project will cultivate black-owned farming, food security and enhance healthy nutrition options in areas where long standing social, economic and environmental disparities have impacted black and indigenous communities in Wake County, North Carolina and Rankin County, Mississippi. The project will demonstrate the use of High Tunnel technology to learn and teach others about farming, and will establish forestry and natural resource management practices on black-owned forest land. MS;NC
The Piney Woods Country Life School $ 996,794 The Piney Woods School Agricultural Discovery Project aims t o address the lack of minorities in agriculture and related fields. It is designed to attract African American youth in resource poor rural areas and nature-deprived urban regions to consider careers in agriculture and conservation through innovative hands-on activities, seminars with leaders in the field, trips to agricultural colleges, and a summer camp focused on wildlife and farming activities. Piney Woods will introduce the principles and benefits of natural resources conservation through education and build an understanding of careers in agriculture, natural resources conservation, and related employment that contribute to the future of sustainable farming by preparing a diverse next generation of producers and conservationists. MS
To Improve Mississippi Economics $ 533,154 In Jackson, Mississippi, thousands of people are suffering due to food scarcity, low income, and environmental crisis. The program aims to address these problems by offering single-household women solutions to creating a financially healthier home and increasing access to more food. The program is designed to empower the community through urban farming and new knowledge of water conservation, agriculture career exposure, and climate-smart skills. MS
Whidbey Island Conservation District $ 478,258 Whidbey Island and the surrounding Puget Sound host predominantly small and beginning producers, with a significant veteran population due to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Historically, these producers have been underserved by assistance programs which lack trusted, culturally competent representatives to inform the public of their benefits and assist them in an often onerous application process. Whidbey Island Conservation District will partner with Growing Veterans to increase NRCS program participation by underserved (HU) producers though targeted outreach and education, technical assistance in conservation planning, and increased staff cultural competency. WA
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin $ 265,691 The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture and Food Systems centers on food sovereignty and the return of traditional Menominee food systems, a direct reflection of tribal culture, values, and sovereignty. The tribe recognizes the threat of the climate crisis and is working to prepare for ecological shifts and prevent further damage. This includes adopting new, green alternatives for clean energy and implementing mitigation strategies for the potential of environmental disasters. WI
Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona $ 502,313 The purpose of this project is to empower the next generation of diverse farmers through trainings and farm apprenticeships for urban/small-scale agriculture. Participants will learn about available programs with USDA NRCS and how to obtain the USDA-FSA farm number required to apply for NRCS Conservation Programs. Select participants will also have the opportunity to gain in-field experience through apprenticeships. The project will aim to increase equity and build capacity for the next generation of producers. AZ
Ho'olako Agriculture Consulting $ 100,000 Ho'olako Agriculture Consulting Agriculture Consulting aims to help Kahikinui Hawaiian Homestead remediate the soil in this Southwestern region of Maui through rotational grazing methodology. The hydrophobic soil and wild animals have made impossibility to grow food, and the dry region is highly susceptible to fir. Building the soils will improve food security and mitigate the risk of fire. HI/PIA
Regenerative Institute of Community Education Inc n/a $ 508,305 The Equity in Conservation Outreach and Next-Generation Farmers Leadership Program (ECO-NFL) to engages underserved, ranchers, and urban youth in sustainable agricultural business development through outreach, hands-on learning, technical support, and the integration of technology. The program aims to increase awareness of NRCS programs, career opportunities in agriculture and natural resources, and connect urban and rural areas of Athens-Clarke County and surrounding counties of Northeast GA to Metro Atlanta. GA
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts $ 500,000 The Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) in California seek to better serve historically underserved (HU) communities by improving equity outreach and providing conservation assistance. This agreement will support workshops, direct Technical Assistance and promoting resource conservation careers to producers and students. The goal is to improve RCD service to underserved communities across California. CA
Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation $ 697,000 Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Foundation (BPIRF) aims to educate and encourage the youth and community programs with an emphasis on STEM curriculum. The project includes events, a camp, mentorship, internships, and scholarships to prepare young adults for careers in the agricultural industry. CA;CO;GA;MA;TN;TX
At Ease Orchard LTD $ 382,545 Operation Groundwork will train and demonstrate available NRCS programs and conservation practices to to Veterans Farmers. This program aims to develop community conservation practices that encourage Veteran producers to enroll in NRCS programs and begin the Conservation Stewardship Program. It will be implemented on small-scale urban farms in Danville and Anderson, IN, supporting education, planning and adoption of conservation practices that are climate smart conservation practices. IN
GreenSky Gives Inc n/a $ 1,000,000 Greensky Gives seeks to create a more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable farming and agriculture system their "Operation Deep Roots: Increasing Equity and Access to Conservation Resources for underserved Producers (HUPs)". The project includes conservation outreach activities to increase awareness and access to NRCS programs and service for underserved producers. The goal is to prepare a diverse next generation of producers and conservationists. AL;FL;MS;TN;CAR/PR
Rural Action, Inc $ 289,595 Promoting Agriculture and Forestry Careers for Youth in Appalachian Ohio and Surrounding Areas builds upon existing work by expanding the Apprenticeship program, piloted in 2023, to reach 15 interns and 15 apprentices over 3 years. Rural Action has utilized peer-to-peer methodologies since 2011, empowering and paying experienced producers to transfer knowledge and best practices for the economic growth of the local food and forest products system in the Appalachian Counties of Ohio. This project also includes providing paid internships to local high schools, mitigating out migration and introducing underserved students to career paths in Appalachian Ohio. OH
Renewing the Countryside II $ 609,006 This project in Minnesota aims to replicate the successful Wisconsin Women in Conservation (WiWiC) model engaging and empowering women farmers and landowners, including beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. By learning about and implementing conservation practices, these individals can benefit both the ecosystem and the economics of their farm. This project also seeks to attract more women, especially those from socially disadvantaged groups, to pursue careers in agriculture and natural resources fields. MN;WI
Council for Healthy Food Systems $ 354,928 The Council for Healthy Food Systems will offer a series of 45 workshops across four accessible locations in Texas targeting underserved producers. Additionally, they will provide 12 virtual technical assistance sessions to futher advance knowledge after the workshops. Multiple sessions at the largest regional conference of its kind for three years will demonstrate a diverse range of Climate Smart Conservation Activities for three years. The program will also engage in ongoing direct outreach to build partnerships with underserved producers and communities. This outreach aims to distribute resources, collect feedback for future resources, and build long term relationships to promote conservation methods for small acreage and urban farming. The program's goal is to reach over 1,200 underserved farmers and ranchers within a three-year timeframe. TX
Mancos Conservation District $ 634,062 The Mancos Conservation District (MCD) and High Desert Conservation District (HDCD) propose a joint efforts to conserving natural resources in Montezuma County through robust outreach and education opportunities. Understanding that locally community stakeholders are best suited to identify solutions for natural resource challenges , the project aims to engage the community in developing a shared conservation and stewardship vision. With expanded outreach and education programs , the project will proactively involve students and adults in addressing natural resource concerns and promoting conservation pratices. CO
Cascadia Conservation District $ 374,465 Cascadia Conservation District's (Cascadia) Connecting Youth and Agriculture Community Outreach Program aims to increase access to NRCS programs by promoting conservation services to underserved producers and educating students of careers in agriculture. Through partnerships with local college, community groups, producers, and school districts, Cascadia will inform underserved producers about conservation programs, provide technical assistance, develop conservation plans, organize workshops, and installing community gardens. The program also aims to connect students with conservation career opportunities through partnerships between schools, community groups, and local producers. WA
The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System $ 628,235 This multi-diciplinary project utilizes participatory research methods to develop community-guided social justice strategies for climate-smart agriculture in Tribal food systems, dairy production, and vegetable production. By integrating social justice and climate-smart agriculture, University of Wisconsin aims to ensure that climate-smart solutions meet the needs and capacities of the communities dependent on these agricultural systems. Conservation practices such as continuous ground cover, minimal soil disturbance, and crop diversification will be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate impacts. WI
Alabama's Mountains, Rivers & Valleys RC&D Council $ 243,950 North Alabama Next Generation Agriculture aims to develop the future workforce and increase equity in conservation by preparing students in underserved communities for careers in agriculture and natural resources management.Through educational programs and exposure to climate-smart practices and innovative technology, approximately 9300 students will be educated and trained in climate smart agriculture technology and career opportunities within agriculture and natural resources. The project includes in-classroom training sessions, agricultural career exhibits, environmental education center tours, climate smart expos, and agricultural college and university tours. AL
Arkansas Land and Community Development Corporation $ 695,790 The proposed Equity Conservation Outreach Project (ECOP) aims to provide equity-building conservation outreach and technical assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. ECOP encourages diverse and inclusive participation in NRCS programs, introduces conservation planning and climate-smart practices, and protects farmland ecosystems, watersheds, and wildlife habitat in underserved communities. The project also provide opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences through internships, training camps, and workforce development. AR;MS;TN
Council on the Environment Inc. D.B.A. GrowNYC n/a $ 338, 248 The project aims to increase conservation and climate smart agriculture practices among small-scale and Spanish-speaking farmers, participarly those who have shown some interest but haven't taken the next step. It will provide access to NRCS programs that address local natural resource issues and promote climate smart agriculture. Additionally, farmers will receive training on running viable farm businesses that incorporate conservation-focused agricultural practices. The project will include a nine-week business and financial training program and on-farm workshops led by producers utilizing NRCS programs . MA;CT;NJ;NY;PA;VT
Global Growers Network $ 696,742 Global Growers Network (GGN) , a nonprofit organization based in Decatur, GA. Their mission ia to partner with diverse people, primarily refugees/immigrants, to grow fresh food for their families and local marketplaces. The initiative aims to raise awareness of NRCS programs and foster community conservation partnerships while teaching climate-smart conservation practices. They have three key goals: sparking interest in climate-smart agriculture through engaging workshops and hands-on soil health programs, showcasing real-life conservation practices on community green spaces, and connecting urban and small-scale agriculture producers to valuable resources and conservation programs. GA
Rebuilding Broken Places CDC $ 250,000 RBP Farm to Table Sustainable Food Collaborative aims to promote sustainable agriculture and food production practices in Wayne County. The program focuses on providing education, technical assistance, and resources to small farmers and food-related business owners, particularly those from underrepresented communities. Initiatives include garden introduction and tasting events for children, educational workshops, agri-career fairs, and youth food-related entrepreneur expos to foster a culture of sustainability and resilience in the local food system. NC
Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust $ 567,998 The Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust proposes a three-year project called "Underserved Communities in New England" to support underserved producers and communities in the region. The project objectives include conducting outreach and needs assessments, facilitating partnerships between NRCS and underserved producers, helping producers improve operations through conservation and climate smart practices, and engaging and educating high school students in underserved communities about conservation and career opportunities. NH;ME;MA;RI;VT;CT
Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association $ 415,301 The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, in partnership with the Resource Conservation Districts of Monterey and San Benito County, will provide bilingual outreach, education, and direct technical assistance to 200 Underserved Producers on the Central Coast of CA. The project aims to assist farmers in participating in NRCS programs and implementing climate-smart agricultural practices to address local resource concerns. It also aims to facilitate learning opportunties for college students and young adults in organic agriculture and conservation. CA
Monarch Academy $ 300,000 Monarch Academy engages students in hands-on learning activities and outreach to farmers and ranchers.Monarch Exposure to STEAM Ag is a program designed to provide for underserved farmers, ranchers, and landowners with academic learning, social and emotional agriculture learning, and higher education programing. The program includes after-school activities, STEAM Enrichments, and a 5-week Project Based STEAM Ag enrichment camp. TX
Louis E. James n/a $ 1,000,000 The project aims to provide awareness, education and live demonstrations climate-smart conservation practices to underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in six targeted states including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina. These practices will be will be tailored to the needs of underserved counties. The goal is to equip these producers with information and knowledge to implement environmental practices on their land. AL;GA;MI;MS;NC;SC
AfriThrive Inc $ 425,985 This project in Maryland aims to build the agricultural capacity of underserved beginner immigrant and refugee farmers through education and regenerative farming practices. Training sessions, field days, and one-on-one technical assistance will be provided to help farmers develop the necessary skills for success. The project's overall goal is to promote equity and sustainability in the agricultural sector while supporting the economic and social well-being of beginner immigrant and refugee farmers MD
East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District $ 242,950 The East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District plans to expand community programs to empower urban residents as land stewards. The educational program will focus on urban wildlife, local conservation efforts, and applying conservation and agriculture principles in yards or as career options. Efforts will be based at a 1.5-acre SOILS Education Center, where gardening workshops, climate-smart agriculture workshops, and cooking classes will be offered. The project aims to promote equity in conservation programming and encourage conservation in small-scale and urban agriculture for more sustainable and resilient communities. CA
North Jersey RC&D Area, Inc. $ 274,954 The New Jersey Regenerative Farming Network (RFN-NJ) is being expanded through a FY 2022 Equity in Conservation Agreement. underserved farmers will benefit from continued meetings, trainings, farmer network tours, and one-to-one technical assistance. RFN-NJ aims to grow from a small start-up network to a lasting alliance for farmers by providing assistance through community networking, technical assistance, education, and mentorship. NJ
Help For Landowners $ 696,976 This project aims to increase the participation of underserved landowners in federal conservation programs in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. It will promote longleaf pine as a climate-smart option and encourage biodiversity conservation. Outreach and education workshops will be held to inform underserved forest landowners about conservation technical assistance and available opportunities through Farm Bill programs. The project will also build the capacity of non-government organizations to effectively serve underserved landowners in federal conservation programs and encourage their participation in federal conservation programs. GA;AL;SC
Daryl A. Orage n/a $ 570,330 This project seeks to expand delivery of conservation assistance to underserved farmers in South Carolina, with a specific focus on African American family farmers. The Soil Stewards project awill reintroduce concepts related to climate-smart agriculture and provide assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers implementing conservation practices. It will ensure that information about conservation employment options is made available on to the next generation of underserved farming community members, supporting long-term racial equity, justice, and conservation efforts. SC
Conuco Campesino $ 609,807 The Democratizing Conservation Equity and Resources in Puerto Rico project aims to increase farmer and community engagement in identifying and prioritizing conservation concerns that impact the food security. It will expand a network of Farmer Solidarity Hubs, which serve as community-led platforms for knowledge sharing. The project will also include outreach to local high schools to promote potential agriculture and natural resources conservation career opportunities. CAR/PR
Fe-Ma-Le Foundation n/a $ 248,803 The goal of this program is to provide education and training modules for LGBT and beginning farmers interested in creating healthier soils. It will promote self-sustaining practices that support climate-smart and research-based solutions. On-farm demonstrations and urban farm builds will be conducted on a monthly basis throughout Texas and New Mexico. NM;TX
National Center For Appropriate Technology $ 514,672 This project provides outreach, educational, and networking opportunities to Latino farmers in California, Texas, and elsewhere about conservation practices. NCAT's staff of farmers, ex-farmers, and agricultural professionals will provide practical information about the costs and benefits of implementing regenerative practices. On-farm demonstrations and classroom-style educational opportunities will be included. The project aims to successfully educate underserved farmers on implementing conservation practices on their farms. CA;TX
American Farmland Trust $ 638,759 American Farmland Trust (AFT) and 1890 Land Grant Institutions have partnered to engage 4,000 Historically Unserved (HU) farmers, landowners, and youth in promoting climate resilience, conservation assistance and NRCS programs in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Missouri, and Virginia. This collaboration combines AFT's expertise in conservation and agriculture with the knowledge and experience of 1890 Land Grant Institutions in working with HU farmers, landowners, and youth. The project includes the development and dissemination of outreach materials focused on HU farmers and landowners, hosting Learning Circles for HU women, coordinating field days for HU farmers and service providers, hiring student interns from Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), and training staff at 1890 Land Grant Institutions. The goal is to expand access to conservation assistance and NRCS programs, promote conservation career opportunities, and foster leadership capacity among HU farmers and landowners. AL;GA;KY;MO;NC;VA
Morgan Meland Taggart n/a $ 252,806 This project will create opportunities for growers to connect and share climate-smart conservation strategies and sustainable urban agriculture practices. Workshops and farm tours will provide information about NRCS programs and by convening urban growers, the project aims to identify common challenges and develop collective solutions. The goal is to create a stronger network of support and connections among Cleveland urban growers, expanding their impact and contributing to a sustainable and resilient city. OH
New Mexico Acequia Association $ 697,000 The project aims to ensure equitable disaster recovery and climate change resiliency for acequias in New Mexico.It will provide a statewide program for disaster recovery following wildfires and flash flooding, utilizing outreach and technical assistance to support participation in NRCS disaster programs. Additionally, the project will promote irrigation efficiency and climate smart conservation practices through pilot projects in various counties. NM
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University $ 500,000 The Carbon Sequestration on underserved Farms Florida-Alabama and Georgia (CSHU-FLAG) Project aims to reduce atmospheric carbon and global warming by generating interest for implementing farm conservation activities. It seeks to demonstrate the practicality of conservation practices to those with limited resources and encourages a grass root adoption. The project involves involving farmers in studying the impact of implementing conservation practices on carbon sequestration. It also creates opportunities for underserved farmers to engage in hands-on monitoring and conservation activities. Additionally, the project introduces carbon trading opportunities for the industry, expands data availability for computer modeling and simulation of agricultural practices, and provides learning opportunities for university students through computer modeling and engagement with the farmer community. AL;FL;GA
Minority Farmers of the South n/a $ 617,680 This project utilizes drone technology to support limited-resource rice farmers in updating their conservation plans. By providing high -resolution LiDAR data, the project offers an alternative to expensive precision-leveling, leading to cost savings for Historically Unserved farmers. The project also aims to benefit socially disadvantaged farmers and their workforces, providing both conservation and economic benefits. MS
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $ 696,703 This project aims to stimulate a native seed production industry in an economically depressed area on the southern Virginia Piedmont. It will provide conservation training experience for a project coordinator, a masters student, and three wage employees recruited from underserved populations. The outcomes of the project will be communicated through various means such as growers' meetings, demonstration plots, and social media. VA
Alliance of Sustainable Farms $ 236,654 The project focuses on strengthening the capacity of Mississippi's underserved producers and underserved communities to addressing sustainability and natural resource conservation. It aims to promote conservation leadership , address local natural resource needs, promote conservation career opportunities, and encourage adoption climate smart practices. The project utilizes farm clusters and networking sessions to achieve these goals. MS
The Center of Southwest Culture, Inc. $ 283,548 This project provides culturally and linguistically informed training workshops on soil regeneration, water conservation, and farm development for limited-resource, socially disadvantaged Indigenous and Hispanic farmers. It aims to improve or establish their conservation practices and build their small-scale farming success. The project will also develop resources to promote NRCS programs. NM
Franklin County Community Development Corporation $ 608,126 This project is a community-led effort to address barriers and find solutions for Black, Indigenous, and Latino students in entering and staying in the natural resources field. It involves training local students in Indigenous practices to establish food-producing forests in a region with poverty and food insecurity. The project also focuses on developing relationships with underserved communities and expanding the production of food-producing trees. MA
North Carolina State University $ 696,992 The project focus on climate-smart conservation in small and medium scale agricultural enterprises, including urban agriculture. Through workshops, field days, demonstration sites, and tours, the project aims to build relationships, provide leadership opportunities and offer personalized feedback on how to integrate conservation practices into farm and urban landscapes. NC
Klamath Lake Land Trust $ 177,070 The Klamath Lake Land Trust will develop an Outreach Program geared towards rural landowners.This program consist of educational activities about completed projects, the science behind conservation and restoration, best management practices, and other related topics.The Land Trust aims to become a resource hub, providing information about existing programs and services for landowners offered by agencies and non-profits in the area, as well as accessible and easy-to-understand educational opportunities. OR
First Nations Development Institute $ 697,000 The goals of the project are to develop the conservation leadership skills of Native natural resource professionals in the Northern Great Plains, who are tribal employees. This will enable them to address local natural resource issues, community conservation priorities, restore Indigenous ecological management practices . Additionally, the project aims to improve and conserve tribal lands and waters.The project will also boost the capacity of Native American farmers to address conservation issues, improve soil health and water quality, achieve sustainable local food systems, and manage resources in line with Indigenous values. CO
Alameda County RC&D $ 137,165 The Alameda County Resource Conservation District will provide technical assistance and financial support for the implementation of conservation improvements on urban farms through the Conservation Mini-Grants Program. To address these issues, they are requesting funding to build ACRCD staff capacity for technical assistance work with urban farmers, form relationships with underserved farmers, organize urban farm "Demo Days," provide technical assistance for urban and small farmers, and pilot farm intern stipends as part of the Mini-Grant program. CA
Panhandle All Care Service Inc n/a $ 674,389 Panhandle All Care Services, Inc will conduct outreach and technical assistance events through the Black Belt Region to enhance coordination of USDA-NRCS agriculture programs. Their objective is to reach socially disadvantaged farmers, veteran farmers, and beginning farmers in a linguistically appropriate manner. They aim to improve participation in USDA programs, provide information on operating farms in a conservation environment, offer demonstrations of eco-friendly farming, and assist with improving the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands. AL;AR;FL;GA;LA;MS;NC;SC;TN;TX;VA
National Women In Agriculture Association $ 697,000 The National Women in Agriculture Association (NWIAA) is launching an innovative project to address critical agriculture issues, such as food security, food safety, quality assurance, and conservation. The project will provide sustainable production training and mentorship opportunities for new and underserved producers.It will also implement environmental conservation practices and offer food safety classes. Additionally, the project will create an urban agriculture program in partnership with Cristo Rey OKC, KIPP Charter School, and the Shawnee Rescue Mission to address food security in Oklahoma. The proposal will also be established in New Mexico and Missouri. OK
Pie Ranch $ 509,981 The goal of the project focus is to empower underserved producers and students in the region to become community conservation leaders. Peer-to-peer workshops and demonstration tours, followed by tailored technical assistance, will be organized to achieve this goal. The annual workshop series and demonstration tours will be designed and organized by Pie Ranch, a well-known farm and education non-profit organization. In a collaborative effort, the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District will provide on-site technical assistance to underserved producers. CA
Northern Arapaho Tribe $ 692,407 The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes of the Wind River Reservation are establishing an Office of Agricultural and Natural Resources (OANR)to implement their Agricultural Resources Management Plan. The OANR will focus on developing agriculture on the Reservation in an economically viable and sustainable manner while preserving natural resources and traditional ways. It will also encourage new farmers and ranchers. The OANR will assist in agriculture and natural resources management, including data-driven decision-making to support wildlife, livestock, natural habitat, rangeland, and economic development on the Reservation. WY
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden $ 818,688 The project aims to develop climate-smart conservation practices in the Cuyama Valley to conserve soil and water while creating diverse healthy habitat. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, in partnership with Quail Springs Permaculture and the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center, the project will implement the project with local inout and expertise. The project will establish a network of underserved small farmers and ranchers , create demonstration sites to showcase the benefits of native plants, offer a paid Cuyama Conservation Internship Program for students and develop conservation curricula for K-8 students. CA
Langston University $ 694,120 The project will create conservation and climate-smart agriculture incubation hubs to support the development of local communities and create a linkage with Langston University Land-Grant Programs. In addition, the project will provide training in resource management to student training in the LU-Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The training will include undergraduate and graduate programs and experiential learning opportunities. Both LU personnel and NRCS experts will provide training and mentorship. OK
Texas Agriforestry Small Farmers and Ranchers $ 949,845 Over a three-year period, the project plans to identify 200 farmers, ranchers, and landowners in 12 East Texas counties provide technical assistance andinformation on NRCS programs. The project will conduct on-site workshops and demonstrations on climate-smart agricultural methods, bioterrorism and food security, soil and water systems, forestry issues, internet search and computer skills, and conservation planning. The project will also create a certified Controlled Burn Unit for sustainable land management and gather data on producers' challenges and needs. TX
Waianae Community Re-Development Corporation $ 697,000 Kilohana Kaiulu is a community-based initiative that aims to engage and inspire all youth, especially those from unserved communities, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander traditions of alohaina (place-based resource stewardship). The project seeks to fosters diversity, equity and inclusivity while empowering leadership for a sustainable and resilient community farming, food and agriculture system. The initiative will provide education-to-workforce opportunities. HI/PIA
YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County $ 291,407 The project aims to introduce high school students in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley region to educational opportunities that lead to careers in natural resource conservation and sustainable agriculture. The Kingston YMCA Farm Project will serve as the context for hands-on learning, training, and employment in sustainable food production and natural resource conservation. The project will create a leadership position for an alum of their programs, provide employment opportunities for historically disadvantaged youth, and engage a significant number of historically disadvantaged youth. NY
Tennessee State University $ 932,561 The project specific objectives, includes establishing a peer-to-peer network for underserserved farmers, providing tailored education and technical assistance, organizing field days and an Urban Ag. Expo, and developing diverse workforce in conservation-related careers. The long-lasting outcome will be a climate-resilient future for underserved farmers and communities in Tennessee, with increased knowledge and adoption of conservation practices equitable participation in NRCS programs.Tennessee State University will play a key role in addressing local conservation needs and expanding outreach and education capacity. TN
Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA $ 696,664 This project aims to further increase access to NRCS programs and services for underserved producers in Urban or USDA Urban Buffer areas. RAFI-USA and partners will conduct regionally appropriate outreach to introduce approximately 1,000 additional producers to NRCS programs in the Southeast U.S., USVI, and Puerto Rico. This outreach, along with technical service will result in approximately 500 producers engaging in conservation planning and requesting NRCS assistance for climate-smart agriculture strategies and natural resource conservation practices. AL;GA;LA;NC;SC;VA
Coalition Center for Environmental Sustainability $ 137,000 The primary goals of this project are to offer skills-training in urban gardening and sustainability practices, establish accessible veggie stands with sustainability kiosks, and develop community pathways between food cultivation, food sovereignty and economic prosperity. The NMPCS E-STEAM serve as the hub for all activities. The project aims to create jobs in sustainability sectors, promote career opportunities in green sectors, and foster continual learning about climate smart conservation practices for regenerative sustainability. RI
Mentorscope Community Outreach $ 690,318 This project is dedicated to reaching, educating, and supporting underserved producers, including socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. By focusing on conservation, climate-smart practices, and urban farming techniques, the project aims to improve yields, reduce input costs, and mitigate the impact of climate change on farms. Underserved students will be exposed to careers in agriculture through the career program, AgHope, designed to increase interest, understanding, and practical skills in the field. This can have positive impacts on the future career prospects of underserved youth and the agriculture industry as a whole. LA;MS;TX
Christopher M. Wood n/a $ 751,048 The objectives of this project are to revitalize unused land to grow produce, clear wetlands, test water quality, create new community gardening. Additionally, the project aims to educate on the benefits of agriculture and introduce them to the NRCS. This project takes place in the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. NC;SC;DC
Our Growers $ 659,406 This three-year project will outreach to existing, new, and future producers to increase their awareness, understanding, and utilization of NRCS technical assistance and conservation practices. It will implement conservation plans among underserved producers and communities located in ST Thomas (STT) and ST John (STJ) USVI. The project will also introduce USVI students to the field of agriculture,creating a pathway to employment with NRCS in the furtherance of natural resource conservation and climate-smart practices. CAR/PR
The Learning Center at the Euchee Butterfly Farm Inc $ 318,150 The Learning Center at the Euchee Butterfly Farm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2013 by citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and a underserved legal entity, is requesting to support a two-year project entitled Tribal Alliance for Pollinators: Connecting Native American Producers with Conservation Resources.The purpose of this project is to remove identified barriers that prevent Native Americans from accessing NRCS resources and careers. It will provide training workshops, conferences, on-site technical support, and internships that are designed and led by Native American project staff in culturally appropriate venues. OK
Seven Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council $ 142,254 Seven Rivers Resources Conservation and Development Council will execute a two-year outreach and education project for socially disadvantaged producers in rural Southeast Georgia. This project aims to promote affordable and effective conservation practices. Through this cooperative agreement with USDA NRCS, Seven Rivers will host four field days demonstrating the use of a no-till seed drill in agronomic crops, hay fields, and livestock pastures. The drill will also be made available to underserved, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers for use on their farms and ranches at no cost. Additionally,Seven Rivers will host webinars for new and beginning and limited-resource producers on EQIP, CSP, and other NRCS programs beneficial to underserved farmers. The project intends to reach 290 underserved producers. GA
Operation Spring Plant, Inc. $ 800,000 The purpose of this project is to empower socially disadvantaged producers with the tools to improve their farming operation. This includes protecting and improving soil health, conserving and protecting water sources, protecting the air using technology to reduce their on-grid energy load and increase efficiency. On-farm installation projects that addresses existing resource and production concerns that are obstacles to the success of the black small family farm. The project believe that these on farm demonstrations will make an impact on farmers' confidence to adopt conservation and new technology practices. NC
New York Restoration Project $ 353,879 The New York Restoration Project (NYRP) will build on the success of their work to by adding additional programming in response to needs identified by community growers. The project aims to educate underserved urban growers on climate-adaptive urban farming skills and practices. NYRP plans to expand the Urban Agriculture program to include a Winter Academy, offering underserved growers education prior to the growing season. This will include topics that align with USDA's Conservation and Sustainability practices, including cover cropping, irrigation, soil health, pest management and common garden problems. NYRP will continue to foster connections with USDA-NRCS staff and distribute USDA-NRCS materials at the education workshops. NY
Greater Yellowstone Coalition $ 109,908 Greater Yellowstone Coalition will conduct outreach activities on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The goal is to encourage diverse and inclusive participation in NRCS programs and introduce conservation planning to protect wildlife habitat in Wyoming's underserved communities. Outreach to the Fort Washakie, Ethete, Arapahoe, and Crowheart communities will focus on agriculture, wildlife populations, buffalo restoration, and water rights. Open community meetings will be hosted to increase awareness of NRCS program availability to Tribal producers. Targeted one-on-one conversations will also be conducted with producers working in priority wildlife habitats. Additionally, enrollment sessions will be held for interested and eligible producers, featuring agency staff who can provide technical assistance and facilitate Tribal livestock producer enrollment in NRCS programs such as EQIP, ACEP, and RCPP. WY
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center $ 695,987 The Partnership for Agricultural Sustainability and Education (PASE) is dedicated to reaching, educating, and supporting underserved producers in New Mexico, Bernalillo County, and the South Valley. The project aims to promote climate-smart conservation practices among small-scale traditional agriculture and educate future producers on NRCS programs. Additionally, PASE will offer career opportunities in conservation by recruiting and training students attending a minority serving institution. NM
Part of the Solution Foundation, Inc n/a $ 300,000 Cultivating a New Generation of Farmers Program seeks to prepare the next generation of farmers with the skills they need to succeed in agriculture and improve the sustainability of farming operations. Through outreach and technical assistance, the program addresses barriers and challenges faced by an aging farming population. It provides workshops, hands-on experiences, farm tours, career development workshops, for young people, with a focus on disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, veterans and women in underserved communities. MS
Cultivating Alliance Inc n/a $ 321,171 The Southeastern Agriculture Conference for Multicultural Small and Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, Veterans Farmers and Ranchers project will consists multicultural conferences and hands on training at urban farm demonstrations and tours. The project aims to educate underserved farmers from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on climate smart agriculture practices and Farm Bill Programs. This will increase resiliency and help protect the land and water resources in the identified Southern States. AL;GA;NC;SC
Texas A&M AgriLife Research $ 697,000 Equity in Conservation Outreach, led by Texas A&M University in partnership with other universities, aims to support and empower underrepresented minorities in becoming successful agriculture and natural resources conservation professionals. The project creates a holistic program to increase participants knowledge and experience in agriculture and natural resources conservation-related careers, provides mentoring andfield experiences, and expand participants' interactions with public service employees. TX
Empowering Arizona $ 243,719 Empowering Arizona will partner with Miami Jr./Sr. High School and Navajo Elementary School, serving predominantly socially disadvantaged communities in Maricopa and Gila counties. The project aims to education on climate-smart conservation practices, promote NRCS programs and services, introduce career opportunities, and develop leadership skills for students from these communities. AZ
Mississippi Agricultural And Wellness Corporation n/a $ 584,588 The project aims to address energy resource concerns and assist small-scale, limited-resource farmers in implementing energy conservation practices. It will help producers identify and implement practices that improve energy efficiency on the farm, introducing to innovative technologies, such as hydroponic production. The project aims to enhance the sustainability and profitability of small-scale farm operations by integrating energy conservation technology transfer and improved marketing strategies, ensuring food security for underserved farmers. MS
Food Well Alliance Inc $ 602,686 Food Well Alliance aims to provide outreach, technical assistance, training, and mentorship to historically disadvantaged farmers and high school students in Metro Atlanta. The project seeks to develop enhanced conservation practices, increase participation in NRCS programs, and promote climate-smart agriculture. Activities include the developing a community conservation technical assistance program, hosting workshops, launching a Climate-Smart Agriculture Fellowship Program and organizing demonstrations and field trips. GA
Annie's Project $ 264,128 Annie's Project aims to work with NRCS on the educational and relationship building side of self and community improvement. The project seeks to breaking down communication barriers and reach underserved producers through a three-year project that combines Annie's Project's methodology of educations diverse audiences with NRCS's commitment to reaching underserved producers. IL;MS;SC;MD;DE;MI;MN;MO;NH
Groundwork RVA Inc, $ 684,555 Hillside Court, a public housing unit located in a food desert in Richmond, VA aims to significantly increase both the quantity and variety of produce grown in the neighborhood. The project also includes youth education program to encourage conservation careers, create resiliency at urban farms to mitigate flooding, and remove barriers to urban agriculture. Local residents will be provided with raised beds and gardening classes to support their own vegetables growing. VA
Pollinator Partnership $ 310,302 The project aims to improve sustainability and resilience in urban farming by developing a natural resource guide, providing tailored technical training, establishing on-farm pollinator habitat, promoting Farm Bill programs, and faciliating community support networks. It seeks to reach communities that have traditionally been on the edge of sustainability initiatives due to their status as new farmers, their geographical location, and their demographic make up. Anticipated outcomes include increased knowledge of pollinators, behavior change, economic benefits, and improvements to local habitat and ecosystems. IN;MI;OH;WI
East Arkansas Enterprise Community, Inc n/a $ 679,949 The project will encourage diverse and inclusive participation in NRCS programs, introduce climate smart practices, and protect farmland, ecosystems, watersheds, and wildlife habitat in Lee, Phillips, St. Francis, and Monroe counties in the East Arkansas Delta. It will develop a community-led conservation project to enable underserved producers and communities to access NRCS programs and services and learn about potential career opportunities. AR
Palouse Conservation District $ 261,443 This project aims to increase access to NRCS and other technical assistance services in Whitman County, Washington, and promote potential career opportunities in agriculture and natural resources to high school students. The Palouse Conservation District will facilitate various activities, including creating educational videos, launching an online resource library, hosting events, providing one-on-one assistance, facilitating conservation lessons, and recruiting high school students for competitions. WA
Knik Tribe $ 398,598 The project will focus on regional stakeholders from Alaska Native Corporations, Tribal Conservation Districts, Tribal Charter Schools, and other educational partners serving Alaska Native students. It will provide hands-on training experiences, agricultural curriculum, technical assistance field trips, farm tours, and competition kits for the Alaska FFA State Convention. AK
Austin Wilkes - Individual n/a $ 421,824 SEA will provide hands-on educational sessions to underserved farmers and ranchers, helping them improve the sustainability of their operations. Specialists will cover topics such as climate change, soil health, and the conservation practices. The staff of the SEA will also provide one-on-one outreach, offering a blueprint for training underserved producers in other areas. MS
Pueblo of San Felipe $ 282,503 This project aims to provide education and outreach to San Felipe's farmers with in their own language, increasing access to USDA NRCS programs and services. It will also include internships and career opportunities for tribal youth in conservation and agriculture and address local natural resource issues and drought management strategies. NM
Winston County Self Help Cooperative $ 1,000,000 Winston County Self-Help Cooperative aims to educate and train underserved producers and organizations on NRCS and conservation programs. It will also educate students on conservation career opportunities and promote partnerships between state and community-led conservation leaders. AR;GA;MS;LA;KY;TN;TX;AL;VA
Asian Week Foundation $ 696,978 This farm improvement project will strengthen a hyper-local community food system and educate the community on climate smart agriculture. Conservation planning and climate smart practices will be introduced at the Florence Fang Community Farm in San Francisco. The project will also focus on protecting farmland ecosystems, watersheds, and wildlife habitat. CA
Kentucky Agriculture Development Advocacy (KADA), Inc. $ 249,794 Kentucky Agriculture Development Advocacy aims to expand conservation assistance and awareness of NRCS programs and services among small-scale, urban, and beginning farmers in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. It will facilitate relationships between farmers and agriculture agencies. KY;IN;TN
MAD Krew Worldwide Inc. n/a $ 239,844 Farm Untill We Grow is a grassroots initiative to engage underserved producers in adopting climate-smart conservation practices. It aims to demonstrate, support ,and create awareness of the NRCS planning process and encourage participation in NRCS conservation programs in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. VA
The 1890 Universities Foundation $ 850,000 The 1890 Universities Foundation will prepare students from 1890 land-grant universities for career opportunities with the federal government by hosting Career Development Conferences. These conferences will target students in agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), business management, and economics disciplines. DC;GA;TN;TX