The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced they will be investing up to $50 million in cooperative agreements to support historically underserved farmers and ranchers with climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The Racial Justice and Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements are available to entities for two year projects that expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers.
The projects, through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), are designed to help historically underserved farmers and ranchers in implementing natural resources conservation practices that improve soil health; improve water quality, provide habitat for local wildlife species of concern; improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural land; and build and strengthen local food projects that provide healthy food and economic opportunities.
Projects should remove barriers to access and reach historically underserved groups through a combination of program outreach and technical assistance in managing natural resources.
Entities who provide outreach assistance to historically underserved groups are eligible. That includes Native American tribal governments and organizations, nonprofit organizations and private and public institutions of higher education.
Historically underserved producers include those who are considered beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers.
Applications must be received by October 25, 2021. See the grants.gov announcement for details and application instructions.