WASHINGTON [2.22.23] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced new funding is available for voluntary, incentive-based climate-smart agricultural and conservation programs. The funding is made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year.
“Our farmers should have the tools and resources they need to conserve and improve soil, strengthen water quality, and preserve wildlife habitat,” said Klobuchar. “By providing Minnesota farmers with better access to critical, voluntary conservation programs, these investments will boost productivity and increase economic opportunities for our agricultural communities while protecting the environment.”
“Climate friendly farming and land use practices are a win-win for Minnesota’s environment and ag economy,” said Smith. “These Climate-Smart programs are a creative way to combat the climate crisis while boosting rural economies and generating opportunity for farmers. I worked hard to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which made these investments possible. I encourage eligible Minnesota famers to apply.”
The Inflation Reduction Act provided an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate smart agriculture through several of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) conservation programs. These voluntary programs are implemented through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and allow farmers and forest landowners to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices.
The NRCS is making $850 million available in fiscal year 2023 for its popular conservation programs: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
These investments are estimated to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers apply conservation to millions of acres of land. Senators Smith and Klobuchar encourage Minnesota farmers to contact their local USDA office and apply.