WASHINGTON, [10.25.23] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced over $150 million in new funding for climate-smart agricultural and conservation programs in Minnesota. The investments are part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which offers payments and other incentives to address climate change and achieve natural resource benefits.
“The Conservation Reserve Program helps equip our farmers with the tools to conserve and improve soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat. And Minnesota farmers and landowners’ participation rates are among the highest in the country,” said Klobuchar. “This critical funding will not only increase economic opportunities but will support agriculture and conservation efforts in our state.”
“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.”
Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. In return, participants receive rental payments and cost-share assistance. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local environment and economy.
Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Smith has lead efforts to create and expand conservation programs, including CRP. In 2020, Senator Smith successfully pushed the USDA to increase CRP incentive payments and help more producers participate. Producers and landowners interested in applying can contact their local USDA Service Center. Fact sheets and other resources are available here.