Skip Navigation

Profitable Farms: Soil, Water and Plant Quality RCPP Agreement

Image: Pine Mountain Settlement School LogoIntroduction

Pine Mountain Settlement School is a community development nonprofit and educational center located in Harlan County, Kentucky.  Serving children and families since 1913, Pine Mountain’s mission—to enrich lives and connect people through Appalachian place-based education for all ages—is carried out through core strategic programs in education, community outreach, agriculture, and Appalachian heritage.

Every year thousands of children and adults from across the United States and beyond participate in the school’s programming. As a core part of its mission, Pine Mountain also serves as a multi-use community center for the residents of the north side of Pine Mountain and the greater Harlan, Letcher and Leslie County areas.  Leveraging these efforts, the school’s community agriculture program in partnership with Grow Appalachia has been a major driving force in reviving sustainable agriculture in the local community and region. The school’s five-acre campus farm produces honey, sorghum, beef, eggs, chickens, mixed greens, potatoes, corn, peppers, tomatoes, squash, apples, blueberries and more. During the past year, the Settlement School hosted more than two dozen workshops on season extension, market farming, food preservation, heirloom seeds and raising chickens, bees, goats and beef cattle. The farm serves as a fundamental teaching tool to help train small-scale farmers and market growers. The school’s vision for their farm is to serve healthy meals, help families grow their own food and strengthen the local farm and food economy.

Here is a link to a short video about our farm and community agriculture work:

About the RCPP Project

The Profitable Farms: Soil, Water and Plant Quality RCPP project is a partnership among non-profits, for profit entities as well as institutions of higher education. The 5-year project was approved in FY 2018 and will utilize financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  The project will focus on providing High Tunnel Systems to producers in Southeastern Kentucky “Promise Zone” Counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley. The project objective is to improve plant quality, extend the growing season and produce high value fruits, vegetables and value-added goods for market. Additionally, soil health and plant quality will be improved using cover crops and reduced tillage. Implementation of these practices will help build the long-term sustainability and profitability of small farms while contributing greatly to the economic diversification of the region’s economy.

Kentucky will receive over $300,000 to install conservation practices within the Southeastern Kentucky “Promise Zone” through this RCPP-EQIP agreement.

Project Location Counties

Bell Leslie
Clay Letcher
Harlan Perry
Knox Whitley




How to Apply and Application Batching Period Dates

Interested applicants can submit an RCPP-EQIP application at NRCS Field Offices within the project area shown above or at Pine Mountain Settlement School. Eligible applications will be ranked using the Profitable Farms: Soil, Water and Plant Quality RCPP Ranking Questions

Fiscal Year 2021 Application Batching Periods: November 20, 2020

Cost estimates for approved applications will be generated using the FY 2021 RCPP-EQIP Payment Schedule.