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Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

Vonita Murray served in the United States Navy from 1994 to 1996. She was injured in the line of duty  and was honorably discharged

Veterans of the U.S. Armed Services may receive preference for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs offered in the 2018 Farm Bill and higher payment rates.  These voluntary conservation programs benefit both agricultural producers and the environment and include financial and technical assistance, as well as easements.

Benefits

Preference will be given to eligible Veteran Farmers or Ranchers applying for several types of conservation financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits. These include improved water and air quality, conserved surface and ground water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat.

CSP helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance — the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Eligibility

An eligible Veteran Farmer or Rancher:

The term “Veteran Farmer or Rancher” means a producer who served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof; was released from the service under conditions other than dishonorable; and--

  • has not operated a farm or ranch, or has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years; or
  • who first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period.

For a legal entity or joint operation to be considered a Veteran Farmer or Rancher entity, all members must meet the above definition.  Veteran Farmers or Ranchers may also qualify as a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher by meeting additional criteria.

How to Apply

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted

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More Information

To learn more about assistance for veterans provided by other USDA agencies, visit: http://www.usda.gov or http://www.outreach.usda.gov/veterans.htm

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