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USDA Rallies Partners to Help with Outreach to Beginning, Veteran and Socially Disadvantaged Producers
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/12/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing almost $1.8 million in cooperative agreements with six partner organizations for outreach and technical assistance to promote awareness and understanding of the Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program among agricultural communities. This includes a partnership with Trustees of Indiana University that focuses on South Dakota producers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers the program as an important tool to help beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers access land, as well as keep agricultural lands in production. These partnerships build on other efforts by USDA to increase equity in program delivery and broaden the reach of its programs to underserved producers.

“The Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program creates opportunities to ensure expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts are used to support the next generation of producers by incentivizing transfer of land access and ownership. Connecting Conservation Reserve Program contract holders to beginning, veteran and underserved farmers and ranchers, as well as making sure landowners understand the program, its benefits and potential for positive, generational impact, is an ongoing challenge,” said FSA South Dakota State Director, Steve Dick. “FSA is partnering with organizations like Trustees of Indiana University to increase enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program by providing outreach and technical assistance to the agricultural community with a focus on increasing awareness about the program and a primary goal of connecting landowners and land seekers interested in program participation.”

About the Project

Trustees of Indiana University – The project will build a clearer national understanding of the Transition Incentives Program’s social and agro-ecological effects on the ground, and opportunities to dissolve barriers to participation for underserved farmers and farmers interested in ecologically sustainable farming practices. The project will focus on 18 priority Transition Incentives Program states: Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The project will look at who participates in the Transition Incentives Program, what takes place on Transition Incentives Program land, how lands convert from the Conservation Reserve Program to production, and how the Transition Incentives Program affects participating farmers’ and ranchers’ entry into – and success in – agriculture. It will also clarify impediments to the Transition Incentives Program in places where the Conservation Reserve Program is prevalent, and opportunities to dissolve those impediments, by learning directly from farmers who do not participate in the Transition Incentives Program.

Read for a full list of projects USDA Rallies Partners to Help with Outreach to Beginning, Veteran and Socially Disadvantaged Producers on the Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program

About the Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program

The Conservation Reserve Program-Transition Incentives Program provides assistance for landowners or operators to transition land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program to a beginning, veteran or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher for sustainable grazing or transition to crop production. The program pays owners or operators of land enrolled in an expiring Conservation Reserve Program contract up to two additional annual Conservation Reserve Program payments if they sell or lease their expiring Conservation Reserve Program land to an eligible non-family member. The producer gaining access or ownership to the land must return the land to production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods and be provided the opportunity to re-enroll some or all of the land into Conservation Reserve Program or enroll in the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program.



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