USDA to Invest $50 Million in New Cooperative Agreements for Racial Justice and Equity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing up to $50 million in cooperative agreements to support historically underserved farmers and ranchers with climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The Racial Justice and Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements are available to entities and individuals for two-year projects that expand the delivery of conservation assistance to beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers.

The projects should help historically underserved farmers and ranchers to implement natural resources and conservation practices that:

Improve soil health,

Improve water quality,

Provide habitat for local wildlife species of concern,

Improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural land, and

Build and strengthen local food projects that provide healthy food and economic opportunities.

Projects should remove barriers to access and reach historically underserved groups through a combination of program outreach and technical assistance in managing natural resources that address one or more of the following four Natural Resource Conservation Service priority areas:

Addressing local natural resource issues;

Using climate-smart agriculture practices and principles;

Encouraging existing and new partnerships; and

Developing state and community-led conservation leadership for historically underserved agricultural producers, including educating and training students for careers in natural resources management.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 25. See the announcement for details and application instructions.