New Fiscal Year: NRCS is focusing on traditional conservation programs

NRCS Chief Terry Cosby discusses how his agency and its stakeholders are studying how to build upon traditional conservation programs going into the new federal fiscal year.

As the government’s new fiscal year begins, the National Resources Conservation Service says it is working to find ways to improve already-established systems.

NRCS Chief, Terry Cosby says he wants to look at programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship to see how the influx of additional spending could improve on these ideas while making the programs seamless. He says taking the complications out of these programs is the first step.

“They’re oversubscribed. We’re only able to fund about a fourth of the applications that come to the door. With this new infusion of funds, we want to make sure that we look at some of that backlog, but we also have all of these other folks that would like to participate. How do we make room at the table for anyone that wants to participate in Farm Bill programs, the conservation, and technical assistance side of it? A lot of the time, farmers and land owners will do these practices on their own if they had the technical assistance. So we want to get our staff ready for that. We’re going to be doing these conservation plans and making sure that when you walk out of that office if the conservation plan is what you want. That’s what we’re going to give you,” said Cosby.

Cosby notes if producers wish to do some of these practices in their work, the Agency wants to be able to support them any way possible, including financial assistance if needed.

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