Conservation and farm funds still available

Special to Rappahannock News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the deadline for applications for the 2010 conservation stewardship program to June 25 from June 11.

The USDA has also released the final rule, which incorporates about half of the recommendations made by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).

Prospective applicants who were considering applying for CSP but weren’t sure they had time now have an opportunity to do so. Applicants don’t need to get all the contract details worked out by June 25 but only need to submit an initial application form. Those already registered with the Farm Services Agency only have to go to the local NRCS field office and fill out the application. There is additional paperwork for those not already registered with the FSA.

NSAC has posted a blog about the CSP final rule and extended deadline here.

In other agriculture news, the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program has loans and grants available. The funding is from the stimulus/recovery act and must be awarded in the next two months. There is no matching funding required.

The program is for rural areas and rural towns with populations 20,000 and less. Grants and loans are made to towns, counties, tribes, and non-governmental organizations for all types of community facilities. Examples of food and agriculture programs that may be eligible for funding are farmers markets buildings and renovations, community kitchens, school or adult or child care kitchen equipment and renovations (to be able to use fresh local food for example), food preparation centers, purchase of land or installation of water for community gardens, etc. Grants would likely be in the $40,000 to $60,000 range.

Local governments, non-profit organizations and federally recognized Native American Indian tribes are eligible to apply.

For more information on this program, see the NSAC Guide to Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems.

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