Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA to invest $50 million in new cooperative agreements for racial justice and equity conservation — online workshop coming next week

The USDA is hosting an online workshop on September 13 for prospective applicants for 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 and individuals for two-year projects that expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are beginning, have limited resources, are socially disadvantaged, or are veterans.

Eligible projects include:

  • Improvement of soil health;
  • Improvement of water quality;
  • Providing habitat for local wildlife species of concern;
  • Improvement of the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural land; and
  • Building and strengthening 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 that address one or more of the following four Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) priority areas:

  • Addressing local natural resource issues;
  • Using climate-smart agriculture practices and principles;
  • Encouraging existing and new partnerships; and
  • Developing state and community-led conservation leadership for historically underserved agricultural producers, including educating and training students for careers in natural resources management.

Who Is Eligible

Entities and individuals who provide outreach assistance to historically underserved groups are eligible, including:

  • Native American tribal governments and organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private and public institutions of higher education
  • Individuals

How to Apply

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 25, 2021. See the announcement for details and application instructions.

Online Workshop

The workshop for prospective applicants will be held on September 13, 2021 from 11 am to 1 pm (PST). Interested parties are asked to join the workshop via Microsoft Teams.

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