The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that offers farmers, ranchers, and nonindustrial private forest landowners financial and technical assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices and activities on working agricultural and forestry landscapes.
If you are reading this, you raise Dexter cattle and probably a few other things, making you eligible to receive some significant grant money (up to $200,000) for implementing, what I would consider to be, pretty standard farm/ranch projects that you may have hoped (or already planned) to do in the future anyway.
PDCA vice president, Ron Metz from Littlefield, Tx has entered 90 acres of his farm land into the EQIP program replacing water intensive cotton and grain sorghum and corn with more environmentally friendly native grasses in order to focus on the direct sales, grass-fed beef market with his Dexter herd.
"EQIP is a great program. We entered our farm ground into the NRCS EQIP program this October. It's a multi-faceted cost share program so we will have to pay part of the costs for ground prep, seed, planting and weed control. We also looked at the EQIP pipeline program which provides assistance to run underground water lines for livestock water. It is also on a cost share basis, NRCS provides engineering plans for the underground lines, watering stations, etc. We will have to pay for part of the installation cost." says Metz.
The list of "conservation" projects and enhancements (loosely interpreted as improvements to something existing) that are eligible for funding touch just about every nook, cranny and activity of most typical small farm operations. Pretty sure you could find several if not many as well.
Hey! Everyone wins when we small farmers do our part to save the environment. Using an EQIP grant allows "everyone" help pay for that effort. It's a win-win.
Contracts for financial assistance up to $200,000 to adopt both conservation practices and enhancements on working landscapes are currently offered to producers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon and the program will roll out nationwide in fiscal year 2022.
Click here for the nitty-gritty Or contact your local NRCS office
If you do not have cropland or forestland, scroll down to Pastureland Practices and Enhancements and/or Rangeland Practices and Enhancements (page5-7)
If you enroll for an EQIP grant... we would love to hear about your experience and share it with fellow Dexters Today eJournal readers. Email us at email@example.com