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News Release

NRCS South Dakota Announces 2021 Conservation Collaboration Funding Opportunities

Contact:  Colette Kessler, Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships
colette.kessler@usda.gov | Phone:  (605) 220-1765

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, HURON, SD, April 14, 2021 - The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) serving South Dakota (SD) is seeking proposals for both Conservation Collaboration Grant Agreements (CCGA) or Conservation Collaboration Cooperative Agreements (CCCA) to help address SD’s most pressing natural resource concerns.

"South Dakota is fortunate that this year, 2021, is our fifth year of being able to engage with partners through the Conservation Collaboration funding opportunities," says Laura Broyles, Acting State Conservationist, NRCS, Huron. “Because of our history of working closely with conservation partners for helping people to put conservation practices on their working agricultural lands, we are able to continue this financial support for agriculture. We may have up to $4.3 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 partnership agreements. To date, we engaged with several excellent efforts and developed some new partnerships that are providing increased conservation benefits for SD agriculture and natural resources now and long in the future," says Broyles.

The purpose of the FY21 CCGA or the CCCA is to leverage NRCS and partner resources to help NRCS to:

  1. Improve soil health.
  2. Improve landscape performance in dealing with water quantity issues; either excess or inadequate, and downstream impacts.
  3. Improve water quality.
  4. Improve habitat for local wildlife species of concern.
  5. Improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands.
  6. Assist communities and groups to build and strengthen local food projects that provide healthy food and economic opportunities.

Emphasis will be placed on projects that: 

  • Build technical capacity of the NRCS to implement Farm Bill Conservation Programs
  • Build technical capacity of NRCS and partner field conservation employees
  • Build the capacity of local partners to develop and implement effective projects that align within the mission and scope of NRCS
  • Leverage non-federal and non-government resources to achieve positive natural resources conservation outcomes.

Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types:  City or township governments; County governments; Native American Tribal governments (federally recognized); Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; private institutions of higher education; Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education; Special district governments, or state governments.

The NRCS will accept proposals under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO) for single or multiyear projects, not to exceed three years, with the work to be performed in SD. Applicants should plan their projects based on a potential project start date of September 15, 2021, and they may be farm-based, multi-county, small watershed, or statewide in scope.

Proposals must be submitted via www.grants.gov.  Cooperative Agreements proposals are due June 8, 2021. Grant Agreements proposals are due June 11, 2021. 

Entities considering applying should visit the www.grants.gov Web Site early to ensure their account is properly set up and their unique entity identifier (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) information is up-to-date. “We encourage applicants to review both funding announcements and consider applying for the opportunity that best fits with the applicant’s ability to provide match, whether cash or in-kind,” explains Broyles.

Both of the NRCS SD Notice of Funding Opportunities are posted on www.grants.gov, key word search “NRCS SD.”  The Conservation Collaboration Cooperative Agreement is listed as:  USDA-NRCS-SD-CCCA-21-NOFO0001098.  The Conservation Collaboration Grant Agreement is listed as:  USDA-NRCS-SD-CCG-21-NOFO0001099.

For more information about the SD Conservation Collaboration funding opportunities, visit the NRCS SD Web site at:  www.sd.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact Colette Kessler at colette.kessler@usda.gov or call (605) 352-1200.

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