The 2014 Farm Bill was a victory for the Great Lakes region, both because it tied conservation practices with crop insurance subsidies and established the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The RCPP will work with farmers to increase soil and water conservation with the goal of improving water quality and preserving habitat. Thirty-five percent of RCPP funding has been allocated to Critical Conservation Areas—areas that the USDA has yet to designate. The USDA can establish no more than eight of these areas, and the Coalition is asking USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to designate the Great Lakes as one of these Critical Conservation Areas.
If your organization would like to join our letter to Secretary Vilsack, please contact Celia Haven at firstname.lastname@example.org by next Thursday, March 27th, noon eastern with name, title, and organization. The text of our letter can be found here.
You can also find out more about the RCPP grant program on the USDA’s website.