PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Through conservation programs, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers and forest landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources, build resiliency, and contribute to the nation’s broader effort to combat the impacts of climate change.
While NRCS accepts applications for these programs year-round, producers and landowners should apply by the following state-specific ranking dates to be considered for this year’s additional ranking opportunity.
Program ranking dates
- Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) – Risk Management Agency (RMA): April 21, 2023
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): April 21, 2023
“NRCS conservation programs are good for Rhode Island’s natural resources and for your operation’s bottom line,” said Phou Vongkhamdy, NRCS State Conservationist in Rhode Island. “Whether this is your first time working with NRCS or you want to take conservation to the next level on your land, we encourage you to contact your local NRCS field office to learn more.”
The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program helps farmers use conservation to manage risk and solve natural resource issues through natural resources conservation. NRCS administers the AMA conservation provisions while the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Risk Management Agency implement other provisions under AMA.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps farmers and forest landowners to maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resource concerns. Participants receive annual CSP payments and earn additional practice payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
Historically underserved farmer benefits
Special provisions are available for historically underserved farmers (beginning, socially disadvantaged or limited resource farmers). Historically underserved farmers can receive higher payment rates (up to 90 percent of average cost). NRCS sets aside CSP funds for historically underserved farmers.
Conservation practices and climate
NRCS conservation programs play a critical role in USDA’s commitment to partnering with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and local communities to deliver climate solutions that strengthen agricultural operations and rural America. States may prioritize a variety of voluntary conservation practices through these NRCS programs, including those that support climate-smart agriculture and forestry (CSAF).
Applying for assistance
Funding is provided through a competitive process. NRCS accepts applications for its conservation programs year-round. NRCS sets state-specific ranking dates to evaluate applications for funding. These dates account for farmer needs, staff workload and ensure potential participants have ample opportunity to apply. Farmers should apply by the April 21, 2023, ranking date to be considered for funding in the current cycle for CSP and RMA-AMA. Applications received after ranking dates will be automatically deferred to the next funding period.
For more information and to apply for NRCS programs, contact your local conservation district or NRCS field office at:
Eastern RI Conservation District
Serving Newport and Bristol counties
Conservation District Office: 401-934-0842
Ghyllian Alger, NRCS District Conservationist
401-822-8835 or Ghyllian.firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern RI Conservation District
Serving Providence County
Conservation District Office: 401-934-0840
Ghyllian Alger, NRCS District Conservationist (Acting)
401-822-8835 or Ghyllian.email@example.com
Southern RI Conservation District
Serving Kent and Washington counties
Conservation District Office: 401-661-5761
Jameson Long, NRCS District Conservationist
401-822-8847 or Jameson.Long@usda.gov
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46
Warwick, RI 02886
NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources. For more information, visit www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov.
–USDA NRCS Rhode Island