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NRCS Accepting Applications For Ag Initiative

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Community Agriculture Initiative. This initiative supports the conservation efforts of Montana’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners from small acreage to large. NRCS accepts applications year-round, but applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted by Feb. 14.

“Agricultural producers of all sizes provide local, nutritious food to their communities. Through this initiative, NRCS is prioritizing assistance to first foods efforts, farm to table projects, and many other types of community agriculture,” said Tom Watson, NRCS state conservationist for Montana. “This includes an expanded set of conservation practices tailored to the conservation needs of small-scale ag producers.”

The small acreage activities make traditional conservation practices used at a large scale more applicable to operations of all sizes. For example, some payment rates are now based on square feet rather than acres of implementation for practices like grazing management, irrigation water management, pest management, and cover crops. In addition, some new practices have been added including low tunnel management and compost or compost plus biochar in small areas.

The Community Agriculture Initiative is funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and builds on the previous high tunnel initiative. Find information about community agriculture on the NRCS Montana website at nrcs. under State Programs and Initiatives.

For more information about this initiative and how to apply, contact your local NRCS office. Get contact information at contact.

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