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Conservation Connection e-blast - February 22, 2013

Massachusetts state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations and tribes may apply for federal farmland protection program

The Massachusetts state office of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from state and local units of government, federally recognized Tribes, and non-governmental organizations for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). FRPP provides up to 50 percent matching funding for the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands.

Landowners may not apply directly to NRCS for this program. NRCS only accepts FRPP applications from eligible entities that have a farmland protection program that purchases agricultural conservation easements for the purpose of protecting agricultural use and related natural resource conservation benefits.

Applications for federal funding must be submitted by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 19, 2013 to the NRCS State Office, 451 West Street, Amherst, MA, 01002. For more information on FRPP in Massachusetts, visit theNRCS Massachusetts website or contact Barbara Miller, State Resource Conservationist, at 413-253-4380 or

Building Healthy Soils on Your Farm – March 5

The Worcester County Conservation District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will host a free workshop “Building Healthy Soils on Your Farm” on Tuesday, March 5th (snow date March 6th), 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the West Brookfield Town Hall, lower level meeting room, 2 East Main St., West Brookfield.

NRCS Conservation Agronomist Thomas Akin will speak about the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system that sustains plant, animal and human health. This workshop is designed to benefit vegetable and corn silage growers in Worcester County.

RSVP by February 28to Lisa Trotto 508-829-0168, ext. 5 or email