USDA & Farm Bureau to Host Fresno Funding Workshop

The new 2014 Farm Bill brought changes in conservation, commodity programs, crop insurance, rural development programs, loans, disaster programs, energy opportunities and much more. Many of these changes will take full effect in fiscal year 2015, beginning October 1, 2014.  Interested farmers, ranchers, agencies and organizations are welcome to attend a June 25th workshop in Fresno to hear about these and other Farm Bill changes from four USDA agencies.  The workshop will be focused towards answering questions and providing one-on-one assistance to attendees.

WHEN: June 25th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Fresno Farm Bureau 1274 W Hedges Ave., Fresno

The four USDA Agencies listed below will be available to discuss new, broadened and ongoing program opportunities and new eligibility requirements.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service: New streamlined program structure; a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and new adjusted gross income (SGI) requirements.

The Farm Service Agency: Significant changes and more options available in commodity programs, disaster programs, and a new milk income loss program.

Risk Management Agency: Broadened federal crop options, especially for organic and specialty crop producers; new supplemental coverage options for cotton producers.

Rural Development: Simplified application for several programs. New home loan eligibility for rural areas with population up to 35,000.  New grant program for business development with priority for local food projects, new partnership with community colleges.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program Announcement of Program Funding (APF)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced (May 27th) details of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a five-year, $2.4 billion program to fund locally designed soil and water conservation projects nationwide. The Program is an entirely new approach giving partnerships and leveraging resources. RCPP is not a grant program. All funds available through RCCP will require significant contributions from partners involved. Partners can leverage non-Federal financial and technical resources to with other local, State or national efforts within the project area.

Under this new flagship program, NRCS will rely on the partners to measure environmental successes of individual projects, while NRCS will aggregate and analyze performance data to track trends and monitor progress.

The RCPP will increase the opportunity for partners to bring locally-driven innovative ideas and resources to accelerate conservation o private lands. RCPP partners will have the opportunity to join in this mission by developing project applications to address natural resource objectives in a proposed area or region.

Funding will be awarded after a two-phase process that includes: (1) a pre-proposal application; and (2) a full proposal application (see dates below)

Project Pre-proposal Due to NRCS – July 14, 2014
Announcement by NRCS of Pre-proposal Selection – July 28, 2014
Full Proposals Due to NRCS – September 26, 2014
Announcement of Selected Full Proposals – October 17, 2014

Funding under the RCPP is divided among three funding pools: National, Critical Conservation Areas (CCA) and State. Applications that demonstrate that the project will contribute to the overall CCA goals will be given priority. The maximum award amount for any project selected under this announcement will not exceed $20 million.