USDA Announces New Conservation Initiatives

Cindy ZimmermanConservation, Government, USDA

USDA is now accepting applications for new, landmark conservation initiatives created by the 2014 Farm Bill.

nrcsThe programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working agriculture lands, support outdoor recreation activities and boost the economy.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new initiatives today at Kuhn Orchards in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania. The farm’s owners participate in the USDA Conservation Stewardship Program, have worked to encourage pollinator health through planting practices, and used USDA program support to construct a high tunnel.

The new programs include the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP) and the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). Applications for ACEP funding consideration in fiscal year 2014 must be submitted by the individual state deadline or June 6, 2014, whichever is earlier. Applications and state deadline information can be obtained at your local USDA Service Center or at Applications for VPA-HIP are due by June 16 and should be completed at