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Federal & State Conservation Programs Federal & State Conservation Programs
Regardless of whether you live in the city, on the coast, or in the country, there may be a conservation assistance program that is right for you. We'll also help connect you to the professionals nearby that can assist in achieving your conservation goals.

The federal land conservation funding and technical assistance programs are national in scope and the majority are offered by the Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service.

Both the federal government and the state of Mississippi have a number of land conservation assistance programs designed to help you with either financial or technical assistance. Take a look through the programs to see if one fits your conservation goals. The following federal and state assistance programs are designed to promote habitat protection or restoration as well as other conservation activities on your land through grants, cost-share, technical assistance, or tax incentives.

USDA - NRCS Programs USDA - NRCS Programs
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)- REPEALED
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)
Conservation of Private Grazing Land (CPGL)
Conservation Security Program
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)
Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI)- REPEALED
Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP)
Emergency Watershed Protection Program- Floodplain Easement
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP Organic Initiative
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)- REPEALED
Farm Pilot Project Coordination, Inc.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI)
Gulf of Mexico Initiative
Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)
Longleaf Pine Initiative
Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative
Mississippi Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Mississippi Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)
Mississippi Conservation Stewardship Program
Mississippi Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative
Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Initiative (GoMI)
Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
National Water Quality Initiative
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Rhode Island Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Small scale solutions for your farm
The Golden Meadow Plant Materials Center (LAPMC)
The Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center (MSPMC)
USDA StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity
Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program
Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP)- REPEALED
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)- REPEALED
Working Lands for Wildlife

Federal & State Conservation Programs Conservation Districts
There is a Soil & Water Conservation District in every county in Mississippi. Among other things, these Districts' ongoing and future efforts are to:
  1. Implement farm conservation practices to keep soil in the fields and out of waterways.
  2. Conserve and restore wetlands and wildlife habitat.
  3. Protect groundwater resources
  4. Plant trees and other land cover to hold topsoil, purify the air, provide cover for wildlife, and beautify neighborhoods and public areas.
  5. Help developers and homeowners manage the land and water in an environmentally sensitive manner.
  6. Reach out to communities and schools to teach the value of natural resources and encourage conservation in generations to come.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Mississippi are subdivisions of state government that are responsible for helping landowners in the wise management of land and natural resources by offering technical assistance and information for the natural resources within their county. The districts, along with nearly 3,000 conservation districts nationwide, provide assistance to its citizens through cooperation with federal, state and local agencies, businesses and civic organizations.

Conservation districts usually have a governing board comprised of local citizens who volunteer to represent farmers, landowners, educators, businesses, land users and all citizens, young and old, in the district. The boards ensure a local voice in natural resource issues.

District activities include technical field assistance, urban development projects, environmental education and information programs and recognition programs to acknowledge people who practice land stewardship, along with a variety of other services.

Federal & State Conservation Programs Cooperative Extension
Extension Service logo The Mississippi State University Extension Service provides research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

Extension's overall purpose is education -- education that will empower people to make intelligent decisions relating to their vocations, their families, and their environment. Extension's unique interdisciplinary perspective enables the organization to make a real difference in the lives of Mississippians.

Mississippi State University Extension Service is, and will continue to be, a leader for positive change for individuals, families and communities through the following ways: by providing research and education in a practical and applicable way; by using the latest technology and teaching techniques to serve clients; by developing and using volunteers to help disseminate programs and information; by cooperating with other groups and agencies; and by maintaining a culturally diverse staff responsive to the needs of various audiences at all socio-economic levels.

We believe that agriculture and its related enterprises are of major economic importance in Mississippi, and we will direct programs and resources to reflect this importance. We also believe that quality of life is affected by the reciprocal relationship between people and their environment and will continue to emphasize environmental issues. We recognize the critical need for human resource development and will continue to search for ways to help families and youth cope with an ever-changing society.

Project Updates / News Project Updates / News
Updates and news from Private Landowner Network

What To Do With All of the Poo?

Algae blooms, salmonella and E. Coli, groundwater contamination, and bad smells are just a few of the problems animal manure can cause. In small doses, it’s the stuff of life—the fertilizer plants need to grow. Mishandled, it’s an environmental disaster in waiting. Each year, farm animals in the United States produce over 335 million tons of manure. That’s roughly the weight of 1000 Empire State Buildings.

Dirty Underwear Shows How to Keep Pasture Healthy

There’s nothing like a pair of dirty drawers to drive home a point about soil health.

Farms Across U.S. Win Funds for New Products

Titan Farms, the largest peach operation on the East Coast, throws away 14 million pounds of fruit a year. Most of the peaches are edible, just not as perfect as fresh-market consumers demand. That waste equates to 275 tractor-trailer loads of peaches that go into the trash.

Congressional wildfire bill would adjust state wildland fire funding

International Paper Partners with NFWF for Eco Conservation

Through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, NWFW and International Paper will fund 12 forestry projects across the US.

Ask FSA Andy about conservation plans: wetland and highly errodible lands

FSA Andy answers your questions about highly errodible land and wetlands.

Skyrocketing Fire Costs

New Report Shows Budget Impact of Rising Firefighting Costs

Other Forest Programs, Including Efforts to Help Prevent and Mitigate Fire Damage Have Shrunk; Secretary Vilsack Renews Call to Better Protect Public Forests from Wildfire Threats

Prominent Independent Crop Consultant on Precision Agriculture

It isn't a question of why would you use precision agriculture (PA) on your farm? It's a matter of why wouldn't you use PA? As Craig Koehn, Crop Quest Agronomist from Montezuma, KS sees it, utilizing precision tools can potentially save time and money on most farms.

USDA Announces $25 Million for Agricultural Entrepreneurs to Turn Commodities into Value-Added Products

    Funding Supports Local and Regional Food Systems, Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Funding Available for Research to Benefit Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

The USDA announced funding for the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center.

Zoetis: Make Your Veterinarian a Part of Your Team

Establish a VCPR with your veterinarian to prevent violative milk or meat residues.

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Increase Economic Opportunity and Improve the Quality of Life in Rural Areas

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden Announces Funding for Research to Benefit Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

USDA Announces Selection of Advisory Committee Members to Help Guide Management of Public Forests and Grasslands

21 new members have been selected for the FACA.

Delta plantation succeeds with conservation efforts

Guy Ray, president of Pleasant Lake Plantation, has implemented numerous conservation land management practices to make the Leflore County, Mississippi, plantation a model of sustainability and functionality.

Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment

Farmers can enroll in the CTAP from Aug 11 - Oct 7.
 

USDA Partners with States, Tribes to Improve Public Access on Private Lands

USDA announces $20 million in grants to protect wildlife, enhance outdoor recreation and create rural business opportunities

Study: Strawberry Monitoring System Could Add $1.7M over 10 Years to Some Farms

A new UF/IFAS study shows growers can use the Strawberry Advisory System, a web-based tool that Peres helped design, to save up to $1.7 million over 10 years in fungicide use. Instead of spraying weekly, growers can use the system to tell them more optimal time to spray their strawberries.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Provides Six-Month Update on Farm Bill Implementation Progress

USDA continues progress on every title of the Farm Bill: Disaster Relief, Risk Management Tools, Innovative Conservation Partnerships, Research Foundation All Moving Forward.

USDA Announces Inclusion of Wood Products and Other Materials in BioPreferred Program

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces New Global Open Data Partners and Measures to Enhance U.S.–Africa Trade at Africa Leaders Summit

U.S. Forest Service Will Award $14 Million for Working Forests

‘Settling the waters’ may be one of tools for addressing water conservation, runoff issues in Delta

The Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force and NRCS are working to determine if PAM can help improve crop yields.

USDA Sending Acreage History, Yield Reports to Help Producers Prepare for New Farm Bill Programs

New Data Reflects the Continued Demand for Farmers Markets

The Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that the USDA's National Farmers Market Directory has increased its listings by 76 percent, reflecting the continued demand and growth of farmers markets in every region of the country.

Pilot farm project tackles conservation

Agren is teaming up with United Suppliers to help farmers better manage nutrients through soil conservation services. The new marketing effort is called Sustain.

New USDA Conservation Partnership Program Receives Nearly 600 Initial Proposals

Secretary Vilsack: Overwhelming Interest Illustrates Eagerness Across the Country to Partner, Invest in Cleaner Land and Water

General Mills Issues Statement on Climate Change, Agriculture's Role

As weather volatility increases, General Mills recognizes the need to mitigate the climate change risks presented to humanity, our environment and our livelihoods. The urgency is clear: science-based evidence points to changes in climate that could permanently alter the atmosphere if action isn't taken in the near term.

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for August 2014

The rate-based charge is unchanged from July

USDA Announces Additional Food Safety Requirements, New Inspection System for Poultry Products

Revised modernization effort includes new preventative measures, re-focused inspection activities that will prevent thousands of illnesses annually and improved coordination on worker safety

Save fuel and water with soil health management plan

When it comes to reducing runoff and improving water infiltration, nothing beats no-till.

US timberland prices gain, despite lumber slowdown

USDA Announces Grants to Community Partners to Create Jobs and Strengthen Small Rural Businesses

Greenhouse Gas Report to Assist Producers Facing Climate Challenges

For the First Time, USDA Climate Hubs Get New Tools to Gauge Progress in Building Drought-Resistant Healthy Soil

USDA Announces Grants to Help Veterans and Minority Farmers Get Started in Agriculture

Partnerships Continue USDA Efforts Supporting New Farmers and Build Greater Diversity in American Agriculture

USDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision

2014 Farm Bill Measure Strengthens and Expands Insurance Coverage Options for Farm Operations

Playing Politics with $10 Billion in Rural Programs

Not So Easy Money: The Pros and Cons of Leasing Farm Land to Hunters

Vilsack Announces Conservation Details During Oregon Trip

Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program is expected to provide $1.2 billion in funding over the next five years.

White House to Begin $10 Billion Farm Investment Fund

Wall Street is looking for ways to invest in America’s heartland, and the government is ready to play matchmaker.

FSA Microloan Program

The low-interest FSA Microloan can help new and smaller producers.

Mississippi pollinator protection project first on commercial farmland

In a joint project, Syngenta and Delta F.A.R.M. (Farmers Advocating Resource Management) have committed to establishing at least five "Operation Pollinator" plots this year throughout northwest Mississippi, with plans to increase the program to more fields and farms each year through 2016. The Mississippi sites will be the first commercial farmland in the nation to host the plots.

Do you have your AD-1026 certification form on hand?

For farmers to be eligible for premium support on their federal crop insurance, a completed and signed AD-1026 form must be on file with the FSA.

Farmers Need to Plan for Changes in New Farm Bill

Although signup is months away, agricultural landowners and producers need to begin planning for decisions they will have to make because of the new farm bill, according to LSU AgCenter economist Mike Salassi.

Farmers markets try to weather the drought

Farmers claim that due to drought, they are not able to sell their usual array of products this year at farmers markets.

Watershed Rehabilitation Funding to Repair Dams in 26 States

Natural Resources Chief Joins House Ag Chairman to Highlight Projects that will Protect Lives, Provide Jobs

Disaster Assistance for 2012 Frost or Freeze Fruit Crop Losses Announced

Enrollment begins July 22

Historic Farm Bill Funding Available to Organic Producers and Handlers

Funds to assist with Organic Certification Costs

How To Grow Your Own Meadow

Tired of your boring old lawn? Need a little pollination in your life? Why not try planting your own wildflower meadow, if not for yourself, then at least for the birds and the bees

Research Projects to Improve Plant Feedstocks for Bioenergy Production

Departments of Agriculture and Energy Announce Projects in 10 States

Field to Market Launches New Agricultural Supply Chain Program

Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, announces the launch of a new agricultural supply chain program for U.S. commodity crops.

New USDA grants to help specialty crop industry

USDA says the economic, environmental and social sustainability of specialty crop industries and the improved economies of the communities that depend on these industries are the ultimate beneficiaries of the NCPN program.

Initial farm bill decision aid now online for farmers

While the FSA's interpretation of the farm bill is still likely months from being finalized, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University has released the preliminary version of its farm bill decision aid tool for farmers.

Secretary Jewell Announces $43 Million to States for Parks, Outdoor Recreation through Land Water Conservation Fund

Jewelled announced that $43.38 million in state conservation funding is now available from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

USDA conservation program helps ranchers preserve farm and wetlands

The new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides finanical and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to protect farmland and wetlands.

Delta farmers meet initial goal for voluntary metering of irrigation wells

As the June 30 deadline passed, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced that the 5 percent goal for voluntary metering of irrigation wells supported by the Delta Sustainable Water Resource Task Force had been officially met.

USDA to Invest in Red River Basin Conservation Effort

Conservation Initiative to Minimize Flooding, Improve Water and Soil Quality, Help Waterfowl, Strengthen Agriculture and Outdoor Recreation Economies

United States and Korea Streamline Organic Trade

The US and Korea have entered an arrangement where organic processed products certified in either country can now be labeled as organic in the other.

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2014-Crop Peanuts

The CCC announced 2014 crop loan rates for select peanuts.

USDA Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Department Implementing New Farm Bill Programs, Unveiling New Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers

USDA Announces New Farm Bill Funds Available for Research to Fight Citrus Greening

$31.5 Million Being Allocated to Test Various Ways to Combat Disease Threatening U.S. Citrus Industry

Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

Nominations for local FSA county committees begins June 15 and ends Dec 1.

USDA Announces Programs to Conserve Sensitive Land and Help Beginning Farmers

Programs that Allow Producers to Protect Land and Help New, Minority and Veteran Farmers Get their Start in Agriculture

NRCS Partnership Program Ushers in New Era of Conservation

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, will streamline regional programs and award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region.

USDA Announces Support for Renewable Biomass Energy

Biomass Producers and Energy Facilities Soon Can Apply for Qualification in Renewed Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Yearly Survey Shows Better Results for Pollinators, but Losses Remain Significant

USDA Announces Fall Summit on Bee Nutrition and Forage; Launches "Bee Watch" Website to Broadcast Bee Activity and Increase Public Awareness of the Role of Pollinators in Crop Production
 

Cost of Fighting Wildfires in 2014 Projected to be Hundreds of Millions of Dollars over Amount Available

The US Forest Service estimates that it will be short about $470 million to fight wildfires this year.

Secretary Jewell Releases Landscape-Scale Mitigation Strategy to Encourage Dual Objectives of Smart Development and Conservation

Strategy seeks to provide clarity and consistency to more effectively avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts on public lands.

USDA Announces 2014 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

Obama Administration Outlines New Strategy to Better Protect Communities, Businesses and Public and Private Lands from the Threat of Wildland Fire Ahead of 2014 Fire Season

The National Cohesive Wildlife Fire Management Strategy, developed by federal, state, tribal, and local community partners and public stakeholders, outlines new approaches to coordinate and integrate efforts to restore and maintain healthy landscapes, prepare communities for fire season, and better address the nation's wildland fire threats.

Estimated ACRE Payments for 2013

This article by Gary Schnitkey from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois predicts ACRE payments for the 2013 crop year.

USDA Announces the Extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract Program for 2014

The MILC program has been extended- protecting diary farmers enrolled in the program against income loss through Sept. 1 2014.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Increased Opportunity for Producers as part of New Farm Bill

Farm Loan Program Modifications Create Flexibility for New and Existing Farmers and Ranchers Alike

Agribusiness Friendliness Index

The Agribusiness Friendliness Index represents an attempt to quantify the various factors that influence the business climate for agribusinesses in each state.

Net Farm Income Forecast To Fall in 2014

The ERS report forecasts a decline in net farm income in 2014.

USDA Announces Efforts to Expand Support for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers and Ranchers

The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape. The USDA is taking a hard look at existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes, adjusting policies, strengthening programs and intensifing outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers.

State Wildlife Directors Approve NBCI Implementation Plan for State-Level Bobwhite Restoration

 ‘Most ambitious collaboration in bobwhite conservation history’ provides specific guidance for states to show sustainable success in 5-10 years'

Comparison of 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has produced an easy to navigate, side-by-side comparision of 2008 and 2014 Farm Bill Programs.

USDA Announces New Grants to Help Communities Meet Water Challenges in Coming Years

$6 Million in Fiscal Year 2014, Up to $30 Million Over Next Five Years Available

USDA Announces 2014 Upland Cotton Marketing Assistance Loan Rate

Commodity Credit Corporation Executive Vice President Juan M. Garcia today announced the marketing assistance loan rate for 2014-crop base quality upland cotton.

The USDA Released Agricultural Projections to 2022

The USDA has provided longrun projections for the farm sector for the next 10 years.

Leading Environmental Restoration and Mitigation Banking Firm Expands Into Conservation Banking: Lesser Prairie Chicken to Benefit

The partnership between Restoration Systems LLC and Common Ground Capital will provide the capital and strategic resources needed to enable CGC to complete execution of landscape-scale species conservation banks. These banks will compensate for the destruction of the Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat.

USDA Accepts Grant Applications for Conservation Innovation Efforts

Grant Program Links Public, Private Groups to Improve the Environment and Preserve Resources

NFWF Announces More Than $100 Million for Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast
Funds derived from settlement of DOJ criminal charges against BP and Transocean
 

NBCI's 2013 Almanac Examines Bobwhite Restoration Advancements
While the wild bobwhite quail population continues to struggle, the momentum to restore their populations range wide continues to grow with several important pieces falling into place over the last year, according to Don McKenzie, director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).

SEAFWA Endorses Full Funding for NBCI by States
The Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) has voted unanimously to endorse member states’ fully funding the core operations of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) for an initial three-year period. 

New Campaign Calls for Restoration Projects that Benefit Environment and Economy
October 30, 2013 -- The Walton Family Foundation announced a Gulf-wide effort to spotlight business support for restoration projects that will benefit both the economy and the environment.

Experts: 'Something Bigger is Going on' with Wildfires
Science is connecting hotter, bigger fires and a longer, more intense fire season with changes in the climate.

What Good is Dead Wood?
When you hear a barred owl calling “who cooks for you?” in your woods, chances are it’s calling from a nest cavity in the limb of a dying tree.

At trial, BP denies dithering during response to U.S. Gulf spill
Dithering and indecision at BP Plc delayed the capping of its Macondo well and worsened the extent of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to allegations by plaintiffs' lawyers at trial on Tuesday that the British company denied.

QUWF Steps Up Support of Wild Quail Restoration
PORTLAND, OR -- The Buffalo, Missouri-based Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) stepped up support of national efforts to restore wild bobwhite quail populations recently, signing a formal agreement in support of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) during the annual meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

Deep sea recovery from U.S. Gulf spill could take decades: study
The muddy deep-sea ecosystem around the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover from the effects of the disaster, researchers reported on Tuesday.

Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying Gulf spill evidence
Halliburton Co pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges of destroying evidence, stemming from its role in the 2010 BP oil disaster that killed 11 men and sent more than 4 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Backyard Conservation: Bringing conservation from the countryside to your backyard
Just as they do on the farm, conservation practices on nonagricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.

Rebel claimants in BP spill settlement get expedited hearing
A U.S. appeals court will hold an expedited hearing for a small group of claimants in a Gulf spill settlement with BP Plc, with oral arguments set for the week of November 4, the court said on Friday.

NBTC Petitions FSA for Addition to CP33 Eligibility

Farm bill and sequestration impacting conservation programs
Farm and nutrition programs are often at the forefront of debate over a new farm bill. But conservation programs are also a vital part of the farm bill mix.

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