Meat & Livestock News

USDA Calls for Climate Action Proposals

TL;DR: USDA allocates $1.5 billion for conservation/climate projects via RCPP, encouraging proposals from farmers, and ranchers, and enhancing efforts with new funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

MANKATO, MINN. — Last week, the US Department of Agriculture announced its plan to invest $1.5 billion in 2024. This fund is aimed at conservation and climate change solutions through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

This initiative welcomes projects until July 2, focusing on farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted, “Last year, we saw huge interest in the RCPP.” He credits the increase in funds to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. This act allows for a larger investment into the RCPP this year, promising more significant conservation efforts.

The program’s funding sources include the Farm Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. These have enabled the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to enhance the RCMP’s budget. Improvements and simplifications to the RCPP are also underway.

The funding is divided into RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA).

RCPP Classic will see NRCS working directly with partners on contracts and easements. RCPP AFA, on the other hand, allows lead partners to develop new conservation methods with agricultural producers, offering innovative solutions not available through RCPP Classic.

Additionally, $100 million is earmarked for projects led by Tribal communities, applicable to both funding types.