USDA announces funding for Regional Conservation Partnership Program

On April 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $1.5 billion in funding that will be available in fiscal year 2024. The historic funds will be in the partner-driven conservation and climate solutions within the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

Project proposals will be accepted now through July 2. Projects are aimed at helping farmers, ranchers and forest land owners adopt and expand conservation strategies to enhance natural resources. According to the release, these projects in turn can save farmers money, create new revenue streams, and increase productivity.

The investments in climate-smart agriculture that USDA has made since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, and will continue to make through the Inflation Reduction Act and Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, are estimated to support over 180,000 farms and over 225 million acres in the next 5 years.

The investment is made available through the Farm Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history, which has enabled USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to boost funding for RCPP. Additionally, NRCS is announcing progress on its effort to streamline and simplify RCPP and improve processes and implementation. 

“We had unprecedented demand for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program last year, showing the robust interest in conservation from farmers and ranchers,” Secretary Vilsack said in the release. “Through the increase in funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, we’re able to invest even more this year in this important program, increasing our impact across the landscape.”

Vilsack is looking forward to seeing what the more streamlined and customer-oriented RCPP can do to get more conservation on the ground in the future. 

There were two separate funding opportunities announced April 3—RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements. Classic projects are those implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners and communities in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP AFA, the lead partner works directly with agricultural producers to support the development of innovative conservation approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic. NRCS will set aside $100 million for Tribal-led projects to be used between both funding opportunities.

Proposals will be accepted through the RCPP portal, and details about RCPP Classic and RCPP AFA are available on

NRCS will be hosting webinars to provide additional information.

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].