From: National Resource Conservation Service Contact: Christina Coulon, 614-255-2471 COLUMBUS, January 11, 2010 – Ohio agricultural producers and landowners interested in protecting or improving natural resources on their land are urged to contact their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office before February 16 to take advantage of financial assistance in 2010. While most NRCS programs are offered through a continuous sign-up, NRCS typically makes funding selections once a year. “A new decade is here which promises to focus even more on natural resources and the interrelationship between soil, air, water, animals, plants, and most critically, people. By implementing practices to protect and restore natural resources now, landowners will be in a position to take advantage of innovative new opportunities that may evolve,” says State Conservationist Terry Cosby. “With the conservation programs available through NRCS, producers can get the assistance they need to plan, design, and install natural resources protecting conservation practices, as well as financial assistance for a portion of the cost of implementing these conservation practices.” NRCS administers a suite of conservation programs designed to address various natural resource issues on private working land and private, nonindustrial forest land. Five primary conservation programs include: • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) • Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) • Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) • Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) • Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) Each program focuses on a different aspect of natural resources conservation, as is indicated in the name of the program. In addition to regular conservation programs, special funding pools are available for nonindustrial private forest owners and producers in counties with air quality issues. Interested agricultural producers and landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center office or check the agency’s web site at www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.