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national resources conservation service

Black History Month - Celebrating Black American Achievements Past and Present

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the hard-fought achievements, sacrifices, and contributions made by Black Americans to every aspect of our country’s diverse cultural heritage, and particularly to the agricultural industry. It’s also a time for us to honor the Black farmers and ranchers of today, who are providing food, fiber, and fuel for the nation.

USDA Looks to Conservation Finance to Deliver More Working Lands Conservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the nation’s largest funder of conservation on private land. For decades, NRCS staff have worked hand-in-hand with America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and technical assistance, delivering valuable practices like cover crops, no-till, windbreaks, grazing management strategies and manure management facilities. Despite these efforts, less than ten percent of our nation’s working lands receive NRCS assistance in any given year. NRCS is constantly trying to close this gap, expanding the reach of its programs through innovative grant programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) and the Alternative Funding Arrangement component of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP AFA). Moreover, in recent years, the agency has begun exploring conservation finance as a new tool to deliver support for a diverse array of projects, benefiting a larger percentage of farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners.

Agricultural Innovation Takes Shape in Great Lakes Region, Helping Solve Solutions Today for Challenges Tomorrow

If we plan to survive in the future, we must address today’s most pressing concerns in agriculture. Preparing the land to continue to meet food, fiber, fuel, feed, and climate demands is a tall order to fill for growing populations. USDA has aligned all its resources, programs and research to give farmers with the tools they need to help meet these challenges.

Secretary Perdue Affirms USDA’s Commitment to Indian Country

Within a month of his start, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue followed through on his promise to Indian Country to visit tribal leaders. Joining tribal representatives, Senators Rounds and Thune, and Congresswoman Noem at Oglala Lakota College’s Rapid City Extension Center, Secretary Perdue aimed to learn more about the topics significant to both tribal nations and colleges in South Dakota. When the meeting closed, one thought was clear: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stands ready to partner with tribal nations in their pursuits.

New Data Unveil Underground Detroit

Soils experts from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently completed a five-year project to map underground Detroit.

“Now planners, developers and others in Detroit can use our soils data to understand their soil’s ability to support green infrastructure, development and urban agriculture,” said Luis A. Hernandez with NRCS’ soil science division. “Knowing what’s under the city helps decision-makers prioritize their planning based on soil features and other specific needs to soundly achieve their land use goals.”