$26M in grants to 1000 Oregon farmers

USDA Conservation Program Payments and New Sign-up Announced for Oregonians Improving Natural Resources on Working Lands
United States Department of Agriculture

PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 8, 2010) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will begin issuing $26.8 million in payments under the Conservation Stewardship and Conservation Security programs to over 1,200 farmers and ranchers in Oregon to help maintain and improve the natural resources on their land. Farmers, ranchers, organic producers and non-industrial private forest landowners interested in applying for this year’s Conservation Stewardship Program have until January 7, 2011. “By taking steps to enhance the quality of their land, farmers and ranchers are helping to preserve their land and their way of life for generations to come,” Vilsack said. “These landowners should be commended for their commitment to environmental stewardship.”
The 2008 Farm Bill replaced the Conservation Security Program with the Conservation Stewardship Program, which is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Conservation Stewardship Program offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland.
The new CSP is offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through a continuous sign-up. This year’s sign-up cut-off date is January 7, 2011. Those interested in applying for this program should visit their local USDA Service Center.
In Oregon, a total of $7.5 million in payments is associated with 372 new Conservation Stewardship Program (2008 Farm Bill) contracts initiated in fiscal year 2010. In addition to the Stewardship Program payments, a total of $19.3 million in payments will also be issued to honor the 901 older Conservation Security Program (2002 Farm Bill) contracts for payments due in FY 2011. The majority of farmers and ranchers will receive their payments by mid-December.
“NRCS in Oregon continues to work at the local level to provide conservation technical assistance and program options for land managers,” said Ron Alvarado, Oregon NRCS State Conservationist. “CSP is an effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals.”
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.
For a state-by-state breakdown of the 2010 Conservation Stewardship Program payments, go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/2010contractsdollars.html. For a state-by-state breakdown of the Conservation Security Program payments, go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2011contractsdollars.html.
For more information regarding the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local NRCS service center or visit http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov.

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