The chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reviewed the conservation programs included in the new farm bill with members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting meeting in Washington DC this week.
“We are very excited to finally have a new farm bill and Congress has provided a very significant investment in natural resources conservation,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller. “Over the next five years, Congress has invested upwards of $28 billion in resources through our programs to provide technical and financial assistance to producers around the country.”
Weller says the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is funded at $8 billion and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which was new in the previous farm bill, is also back. “It’s not really the new kid on the block anymore, but the kid has grown up, come home, and he’s big,” said Weller. “Today we have over 60 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program.”
The “new kid on the block” of conservation programs is the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). “This is an exciting program in that it combines all of the tools we have in our tool chest, all of our conservation communications programs, under one umbrella,” said Weller, noting that the program puts the partners in the driver’s seat.
Learn more in these comments from Weller: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/usda/weller-nafb.mp3″ text=”NRCS chief comments to farm broadcasters”]