News: Conservation Stewardship Program and More

beginning farmer and rancher stakeholder webinar

The latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) including Questions About the Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up; New Organic Champions Opportunity at NRCS; and New Biodiversity Publications.

Press Release: Major Questions Remain as USDA Announces 2017 Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the beginning of the 2017 sign-up period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest working lands conservation program. This year’s sign-up announcement is particularly noteworthy, as it is the first year that major programmatic changes will be in place after two years of intensive planning by USDA. Stay tuned for analysis on the program and its sign-up on our blog next Monday, November 7.

New Organic Champions Opportunity at NRCS

This week, on November 1, 2016, NRCS sent a bulletin to all state offices informing them of the opportunity to appoint an “Organic Champion”, a position designed to help improve field capacity in assisting organic and transitioning-to-organic producers. NSAC applauds NRCS for taking this important step forward. Field-level knowledge, resources, and tools are a central component of organic conservation support.

New Publications Help Farmers and Certifiers Incorporate Biodiversity Practices on the Farm

We are pleased to share the following guest post from Wild Farm Alliance (WFA), an NSAC member organization. The post highlights two publications WFA recently released to support organic farmers as they incorporate biodiversity practices into their operations. These publications will complement NRCS’ call for field-level “Organic Champions” and will ultimately provide clarity regarding the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance released earlier this year, as well as increase organic farmers’ and certifiers’ understanding of the benefits of conservation.

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