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NRCS Accepting Applications for RCPP Program

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.


RCPP eligible partners include private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts, and universities. Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this announcement. Leveraging of this NRCS funding is a key principle of the program; partners are expected to make value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding.


“The new RCPP offers opportunities for partners and NRCS to develop and implement unique conservation solutions that engage farmers and forest landowners,” said Connecticut State Conservationist Thomas L. Morgart. “A single RCPP project can include just about any Farm Bill conservation activity that NRCS is authorized to carry out. We’re looking forward to what our partners propose to do with these new flexibilities.”


RCPP was created by the 2014 Farm Bill. Nationally, it combined nearly $1 billion in NRCS investments with close to $2 billion in non-NRCS dollars to implement conservation practices. In Connecticut, there are currently 7 active RCPP projects that have engaged close to 30 partners. The 2018 Farm Bill made changes to the program to make it more straightforward for partners and producers. Previously, much of the funding was derived from other NRCS conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). RCPP is now a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding, simplifying rules for partners and producers. A reduced number of funding pools now make the submission and approval process easier.


This announcement soliciting applications marks the first step in the implementation of the new RCPP. Later this fall, NRCS will publish a rule in the Federal Register that will establish the policies for the program and further outline the funding process. In addition, the RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangement provision will be implemented through a separate funding announcement following publication of the RCPP rule. Up to $300 million is available nationwide for RCPP projects for fiscal 2019.


USDA is now accepting proposals for RCPP. Proposals are due December 3, 2019. For more information on applying, visit the RCPP webpage or view the Application for Program funding on