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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Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)- REPEALED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Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI)- REPEALED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Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)- REPEALED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

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.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Proclaims August 3-9 National Farmers Market Week

New Policy Proposed to Benefit At-Risk Wildlife, Provide Credits to Landowners Taking Voluntary Conservation Actions

The policy will promote preemptive conservation efforts for species that may one day be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

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.

Deadline Approaching for ELAP Sign-Up

Deadline to sign up for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish is August 1!

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.

USDA Provides 12-Week Progress Update on Disaster Assistance

106,000 Payment Helping Farmers in 40 States Recover from Losses; Producers reminded sign-up deadline approaching for ELAP

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

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2014

The CCC announced this month's borrowing rate, which is unchanged from June.

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 Continues Farm Bill Implementation with Provisions to Help Farmers Manage Risk

Department Announces New Beginning Farmer Benefits, Other Changes to Crop Insurance that Provide Flexibility to Farmers

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2014-Crop Peanuts

The CCC announced 2014 crop loan rates for select peanuts.

'Conservation grazing' use on the rise thanks to funding

There is much debate on the use of conservation grazing. As opposed to prescribed burns, it can be more reliable, create habitat diversity and provide much needed rest and nutrients to the soil.

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

Farm water, wildlife research within farmers’ REACH

Mississippi farmers are finding it easier to determine which water and wildlife resource practices will work on their farms and learn what’s working on their neighbor’s farms, thanks to a farmer-driven program called REACH – Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat.

USDA Announces Funding Availability for Turning Biomass Material into Energy

Farm Bill Implementation Continues as Energy Facilities Can Now Apply for Renewed Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

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

Are you EQIP-ed for Conservation?

EQIP provides financial and technical assitance to landowner to implement conservation practices on their land. The deadlines to enroll are June 20, July 18, and August 15.

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

USDA Reassigns Fiscal Year 2014 Sugar Allotments

No Actions Taken Under Feedstock Flexibility Program

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.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Action to Combat Insects and Diseases that Weaken Forests, Increase Fire Risk

Vilsack Also Reiterates Need for Fire Funding Solution as Projected Cost of Fighting Wildfire Exceeds This Year's Budget

New Pilot Program Offers Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms

2014 Farm Bill Expands Crop Insurance Options, Provides Premium Discounts for Qualified Operations

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.

A Peaceable Solution for the Range War Over Grazing Rights

PERC released an article on how free market environmentalism has been used to avoid situations like those with Cliven Bundy.

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.

USDA Officially Announces Sign-Up Date for Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Programs

Sign-Up Begins April 15 for Livestock, Honeybee, Fruit Grower Programs

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.

New subsurface poultry litter works for no-till corn

A new poultry litter application method injects dry litter directly into the soil by using a subsurface litter application implement developed by USDA-ARS.

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'

Prairie strips aid production, conservation

Photographs, infographics and interviews paint a full-color big picture view of prairie strips in a new publication from Iowa State University’s STRIPS team and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Conservation Agriculture: A powerful tool for the future

Conservation agriculture offers a powerful option for meeting future food demands while also contributing to sustainable agriculture and rural development. CA methods can improve the efficiency of input, increase farm income, improve or sustain crop yields and protect and revitalise soil, biodiversity and the natural resource base.

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.

Climate Change and Agriculture in the Northwest: Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change impacts to agriculture in the Pacific Northwest are detailed in the recent report, Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities.

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.

'Licence to trash' offsetting scheme set back until Autumn
Government proposals would mean developers would have to pay compensation equal to any damage to habitats

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.

Texas Quail Group Supports NBCI Ag Policy Efforts with $75,000 Grant
The Dallas-based, non-profit Park Cities Quail (PCQ) organization has awarded the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) $75,000 to support its efforts to educate federal agriculture policymakers in the nation’s capital regarding farm policy impacts on bobwhite quail and other wildlife species.

BP sues U.S. government over contract suspensions after oil spill
BP Plc is suing the U.S. government for barring the British oil giant from obtaining new federal contracts after the company pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Judge orders BP to pay $130 million fees to Gulf claims program
BP Plc must pay $130 million to a court-appointed administrator overseeing payments to thousands of people who claimed they were hurt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, in a fresh legal setback for the oil company.

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