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Funding Alert: Agricultural Incentive Programs

 Funding Alert for Bennington County Farmers! 

Attention Bennington County farmers! The Bennington County Conservation District is excited to announce multiple funding opportunities available for you:

  1. Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA): This program aids agricultural producers in managing financial risks through diversification, marketing, or natural resource conservation practices. Notably, Vermont is one of the 16 states eligible for this program.
  2. Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): As the nation’s largest conservation initiative, CSP offers payments to agricultural producers and forest landowners for managing and expanding conservation activities. Plus, there's a new state incentive! The Vermont Farmer Ecosystem Stewardship Program has recently allocated $150,000 to 30 Vermont farms for their dedication to CSP. This state incentive, which ranges between $2,000 and $9,500 per farmer, is in addition to federal funds and is available for new CSP applicants this fall. However, be aware that funding is limited.
  3. Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): EQIP is the flagship conservation program of NRCS, designed to integrate conservation into working lands. It offers both financial and technical assistance to address natural resource concerns.
  4. Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): RCPP promotes a collaborative approach to conservation, funding solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land. There are two categories under RCPP: RCPP Classic and RCPP Grants.

Key Deadlines:

  • Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2024 funding for AMA, CSP, EQIP, and RCPP: October 20, 2023.
  • For those interested in the Vermont Farmer Ecosystem Stewardship Program, it's advisable to start the CSP application process as soon as possible.

How to Apply:

  • Submit your applications at your local USDA service centers. More details on the application process and deadlines can be found here.
  • For the state incentive program, ensure your farm records are up-to-date by contacting your local Farm Services Agency (FSA). Then, submit an application to your local NRCS office. Further details and enrollment for additional state incentive payments can be found here.

For any questions or further assistance, please reach out to the Bennington County Conservation District. Let's work together to make the most of these fantastic opportunities!

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