With consumers expressing more interest in sustainability and responsibly produced foods, ADA North East is helping dairy farmers build trust in their farming practices and commitment to stewardship. Click below to find information about available technical and financial resources to help dairy farmers meet their conservation project goals.

If you are aware of other resources that should be posted to this page, please email Ron Ohrel (rohrel@milk4u.org).

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Small and large wind generation.
  • Small and large solar generation.
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
  • Insulation.
  • Lighting.
  • Cooling or refrigeration units.
  • Doors and windows.
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:

  • Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
  • Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/de

2021 Animal Waste Technology Grants

About:
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting FY 2021 grant proposals for the department’s Animal Waste Technology Fund. Vendors, businesses, and individuals offering technologies that can demonstrate innovative, economically-feasible animal waste projects should apply.

Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund has $3.35 million to invest in innovative technologies during FY 2021, which ends June 30, 2021. There are no maximum or minimum request amounts. Animal waste technology projects that are cost-effective, proven, innovative, and adaptable to Maryland will be considered. Projects or products that demonstrate technologies that are already commercialized are also eligible.

New this year, innovative technology proposals that treat animal waste streams, in addition to animal manure, will be accepted. Examples include dairy wastewater, poultry processing waste, and livestock mortality among others.

Location(s):
Statewide 

Application Deadline:
December 31, 2020

For More Information:
Visit the Animal Waste Technology Grants’ website or contact Alisha Mulkey at 410-841-5863 or alisha.mulkey@maryland.gov


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Small and large wind generation.
  • Small and large solar generation.
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
  • Insulation.
  • Lighting.
  • Cooling or refrigeration units.
  • Doors and windows.
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:

  • Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
  • Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/md 


Farming for Healthy Soil

About:
The Maryland Department of Agriculture received a three year, $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Stewardship Fund to promote healthy soil practices to farmers. The grant will provide participating farmers with technical assistance, as well as financial assistance ranging from $10 to $55 per acre, per year to install key soil health practices. We will be seeking an implementation commitment for 3 years, with rates paid annually after implementation. The program begins Fall 2020.

Funding is available for the adoption of new practices only—not continuation of current practices. New implementation means the conservation practice is either entirely new to the site or you are changing implementation in some way to be different from previous years (e.g., adding a new species to your cover crop mix, further reducing tillage intensity, etc.).

Depending on your location, we have a partner network with Soil Conservation Districts and UM Extension to offer free technical assistance during the grant.

Additionally, soil samples will be collected in year 1 and year 3 in both fields for soil health metrics, with some funding support available for the samples. 

No minimum acreage requirement.

Participants will need to be in compliance with all MDA programs (nutrient management regulations, MACS, etc.) 

We are seeking farmers to enroll study fields in any of the following:

  • Conservation tillage
  • Multi-species cover crops
  • Extended season cover crops
  • Prescribed grazing
  • Precision nutrient management

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
Unknown

For More Information:
The application form can be found at go.umd.edu/soilhealthgrant or by calling Kelly Nichols at 301-600-3577. The application form should be submitted to Kevin Antoszewski, MDA Healthy Soils Program Coordinator, at kevin.antoszewski@maryland.gov.

For questions, contact Kevin (email is preferred, but a voicemail can be left at 410-841-5866) or Kelly Nichols, University of Maryland Extension Ag Agent, at 301-600-3577 or kellyn@umd.edu.


Cost-Share Grants for Conservation Drainage Practices

About:
Cost-share grants are now available from the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program to help farmers cover the cost of installing conservation drainage practices on farms to reduce nutrient runoff and protect water quality downstream. Grants cover up to 87.5 percent of the cost to install a practice. In many instances, MACS grants can be combined with federal cost-share programs to make installation of these practices very affordable.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
Unknown

For More Information:
https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/counties/ConservationDrainage_FINAL.pdf


Choptank Riverkeeper Landowner Payments for Water Quality Projects

About:
Funding is available to install buffers, wetlands, and bioreactors on farm fields in the Choptank Watershed. $90 - $1,300/acre is available for buffers with flexible mowing restrictions and planting widths, $2,000/acre for tree buffers, $3,000/acre for wetlands, and a $500/acre bonus for properties in high-priority areas.

Location(s):
Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, or Queen Anne’s county

Application Deadline:
Unknown

For More Information:
https://www.shorerivers.org/envision-the-choptank?bbeml=tp-kOWsm98N7UKmEdsOkRhhXQ.jv9L-UeX1HkOvv6xWRYHBWw.rdKyR6LI2zkGGLGhiSyQCig.lUmeO9qQ2zEK7w2Cx57AnAQ

Black River Greenway Area Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Funding

About:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding has been set aside to support conservation efforts in the Black River Greenway Area, which includes portions of Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Practices that may be eligible for funding include:

  • Fencing to exclude livestock from streams,
  • Manure management systems to prevent nutrients and bacteria from entering waterways,
  • Riparian buffer plantings to protect streams.
  • Diversions and waterways that provide erosion control,
  • Cover crops to improve soil health and prevent soil erosion.

Location(s):
Black River Greenway Area, which includes portions of Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Application Deadline:
The application period for this RCPP-EQIP funding will be open through November 20, 2020. Two virtual information meetings will be held for producers on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and Monday, Nov. 2.

For More Information:
Farmers who operate in the Black River Greenway are encouraged to contact USDA-NRCS to determine their eligibility for this funding.

For locations in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, contact USDA-NRCS in Frenchtown at 908-782-4614, ext. 3.

For locations in Morris County, contact USDA-NRCS in Hackettstown at 908-852-2576, ext. 3.

Visit the RCPP: Black River Greenway-Soil and Water Protection web page for more information on this opportunity.
 
Informational Meeting:
Information about eligible projects, the application process for EQIP and the agricultural cost-share program will be presented at virtual informational meetings held October 27, 2020 at 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., and November 2, 2020 at 7:30 – 9:30 pm.
 
Participants will be able to join the meetings via the links below, or by dialing into the teleconference line and entering the Meeting ID and Passcode when prompted.
 
Workshop 1: October 27th 7:30 – 9:30 am 
https://zoom.us/j/93402031970?pwd=eHUwenVKeFJ5cWtHaUhaK3gxc3c2UT09
Meeting ID: 934 0203 1970
Passcode: 596469
One tap mobile +1 929 205 6099
 
Workshop 2: November 2, 7:30 – 9:30 pm 
https://zoom.us/j/94529857926?pwd=YWIxK0NoWjlFL3UwOG1RSkNvKzJRZz09
Meeting ID: 945 2985 7926
Passcode: 603142
One tap mobile +1 929 205 6099


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Small and large wind generation.
  • Small and large solar generation.
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
  • Insulation.
  • Lighting.
  • Cooling or refrigeration units.
  • Doors and windows.
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:

  • Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
  • Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/nj


Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

About:
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from New Jersey’s agricultural producers who want to implement conservation practices on their land through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), EQIP Conservation Activity Plans and EQIP Initiatives.

NRCS soil conservationists are available to help New Jersey private land managers assess the natural resources on their property and suggest conservation practices that can be planned and implemented with NRCS assistance.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation issues, such as water quality degradation, soil erosion, soil quality degradation and inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife.
 
Initiatives in New Jersey include the Golden Winged Warbler Initiative in North Jersey and the National Water Quality Initiative in South Jersey.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
Applications for assistance submitted by November 20, 2020 will be considered for fiscal year 2021 funding.

For More Information:
NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers address resource concerns through conservation programs authorized by the Farm Bill. NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round and are processed when funding becomes available. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center and the NJ NRCS website for more information.

Partnerships to Safeguard, Restore Wetland Ecosystems

About:
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced up to $30 million is available in technical and financial assistance through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands in New York. Restored wetlands help improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding, and provide recreational benefits.
 
Eligible conservation partners in New York will work through WREP to voluntarily execute high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities on eligible agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.
 
NRCS will review partners’ project proposals and evaluate priority resource concerns, objectives, costs, and expected outcomes for each project and rank proposals based on criteria set forth in the requirements listed on each state’s NRCS website.

Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), which is part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a Farm Bill conservation program. Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations, and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their properties.
 
WREP partners are required to contribute a financial or technical assistance fund match.
 
Wetland Reserve Easements enable landowners to successfully reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater, enhance and protect wildlife habitat, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Healthy wetlands, including those protected and restored through WREP, contribute to USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda of reducing the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050. Earlier this year, Secretary Perdue announced the department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands.
 
Partners benefit from WREP by targeting outreach and enrollment priorities supported by NRCS, including places impacted by natural disasters. Easements enable landowners to adopt a variety of conservation practices that improve the function and condition of wetlands.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
Proposals should be emailed to the NRCS state contact listed in the local announcement by November 30, 2020.
 
For More Information:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ny/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1673020  


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:
•    Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
•    Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
•    Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
•    Hydrogen.
•    Small and large wind generation.
•    Small and large solar generation.
•    Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:
•    High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
•    Insulation.
•    Lighting.
•    Cooling or refrigeration units.
•    Doors and windows.
•    Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
•    Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
•    Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:
•    Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
•    Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/ny


Source Water Buffer Program 

About:
The goal of the Source Water Buffer Program is to protect active sources of public drinking water and to support, expand, or enhance water quality protection through the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands. Such projects shall preserve or establish buffers for surface or ground waters which serve as, or are tributaries to, public drinking water supplies.

Funding for this opportunity is provided through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 with approximately $5 million available for the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands that support, expand, or enhance water quality protection of active public drinking water sources. These are including but not limited to aquifers, watersheds, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and streams. Program funds will also be available for the implementation of Riparian Buffer Systems within the conservation easement area that will provide further water quality protection. 

Location(s):
Eligible agricultural lands must be:

  • Directly adjacent to surface waters designated as a drinking water source;
  • Directly adjacent to tributaries that drain to designated drinking water source;
  • Wetland areas directly adjacent to surface waters designated as a drinking water source;
  • Within a wellhead protection area designated by the NYS Department of Health; or
  • Within the contributing area directly adjacent to an aquifer sinkhole.

Application Deadline:
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For More Information:
If you are interested in learning more or participating in the Source Water Buffer Program, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District.


NRCS-PA: $30 Million Available in PA to Restore, Safeguard Wetlands Ecosystems

About:
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA is providing up to $30 million in technical and financial assistance through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands in Pennsylvania. 

Wetlands help improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding, and provide recreational benefits.

Eligible conservation partners in Pennsylvania will work through WREP to voluntarily execute high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities on eligible agriculture lands. 

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
November 30, 2020

Proposals should be either mailed to USDA-NRCS, 359 East Park Drive, Suite 2, Harrisburg, PA,17111, or emailed to Susan Marquart at Susan.Marquart@usda.gov and Hathaway Jones at Hathaway.Jones@usda.gov

For More Information:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/pa/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1666614


Conservation Projects in Chester County

About:
Chester County Conservation District has been awarded a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant for best management practice implementation on farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of Chester County. 

Funding will be available for NRCS approved BMPs, including:

  • Field practices—waterways, terraces, diversions, etc.
  • Barnyard practices—manure storages, barnyard improvements, stormwater control, etc.
  • Stream practices—riparian buffers, stream crossings, fencing, etc.

The Conservation District will guide each applicant through the process and will perform checks after the project is completed to ensure that each practice continues to work for you.

Location(s):
Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of Chester County

Application Deadline:
Unknown

For More Information:
Visit https://www.chesco.org/4075/Chesapeake-Bay-RCPP or contact:

Dan Miloser
Agricultural Team Leader
Chester County Conservation District
610-925-4920 x115
dmiloser@chesco.org


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:
•    Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
•    Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
•    Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
•    Hydrogen.
•    Small and large wind generation.
•    Small and large solar generation.
•    Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:
•    High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
•    Insulation.
•    Lighting.
•    Cooling or refrigeration units.
•    Doors and windows.
•    Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
•    Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
•    Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:
•    Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
•    Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/pa
 


Small Business Advantage Grant

About:
The Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000 to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment, or adopt waste reduction processes.
To be eligible, the applicant must be a Pennsylvania-based, registered, for-profit small business with 100 or fewer FTE employees, and install energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects saving the small business a minimum of $500.00 and at least 25% annually in energy consumption or pollution related expenses. Natural resource protection projects must quantify the reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loadings reaching the receiving waterway.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
Applications are accepted beginning July 24, 2020. The program is first-come, first served.

For More Information:
https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/SmallBusinessOmbudsmanOffice/Pages/Small%20Business%20Advantage%20Grant.aspx


Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program

About:
Farmers, landowners, and businesses earn tax credits for implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources.

REAP is a first-come, first-served program—no rankings. The program is administered by the State Conservation Commission and the tax credits are awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Eligible applicants receive between 50% and 75% of project cost in the form of state tax credits for up to $250,000 per operation in a 7-year timeframe.

Tax credits can be used incrementally (as needed) for up to 15 years to pay PA state income tax. Farmers and landowners can elect to sell the tax credits after one year.

Farmers can work with a sponsor that will help finance the BMP project. The sponsor reimburses the farmer/landowner for the project installation costs and the sponsor receives the tax credits.

Applicants can apply for proposed projects and/or completed projects.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
The State Conservation Commission will begin accepting 2020-21 REAP applications on August 3, 2020. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For More Information:
https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/StateConservationCommission/REAP/Pages/default.aspx


Conservation Excellence Grant Program

About:
Financial and technical assistance for the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural operations in high-priority locations within the Commonwealth through grants, loans and tax credits, or a combination of all three.

Location(s):
Priority locations as follows and in this order:

  1. Tier 1 (Lancaster and York)
  2. Tier 2 (Bedford, Centre, Cumberland, Franklin and Lebanon) and Tier 3 (Adams, Bradford, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Susquehanna and Tioga)
  3. All other counties

Application Deadline:
Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, and evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis, according to their potential to meet program criteria.

For More Information:
https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/StateConservationCommission/Conservation_Excellence_Grant_Program/Pages/default.aspx


Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program

About:
The program provides cost share to farmers for their Nutrient and Manure Management and Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Control Plans. These plans include site-specific best management practices that increase farm sustainability and improve local water quality. Pennsylvania state regulations require the development and implementation of these plans, and compliance with the regulations is a key component to meeting our collective Chesapeake Bay Watershed goals.

Location(s):
Counties within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair Bradford, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming, and York.

Application Deadline:
April 1, 2021

For More Information:
https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Water/Pennsylvania%E2%80%99s%20Chesapeake%20Bay%20Program%20Office/agriculture/Pages/Funding-Programs.aspx


DCNR Buffer My Stream Program

About:
The Buffer My Stream program encourages 10,000 landowners with streams on their property to improve water quality and lessen erosion by planting native trees and shrubs along the water’s edge. Streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of pollutants from the land; control erosion; slow down runoff during heavy rains; provide privacy and shade; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish and pollinator habitat.

DCNR is committing $1.5 million to streamside buffer plantings this year. The department is leading the effort involving many partners from all levels of government and many non-profits who also plant and fund streamside buffers.

The effort is supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Location(s):
Adams, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster and York counties

Application Deadline:
Unknown

For More Information:
Visit the Buffer My Stream website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Conservation/Water/RiparianBuffers/BufferMyStream/Pages/default.aspx. Landowners are encouraged to contact DCNR for free assistance with buffer design and funding by calling 717-705-2820 or through DCNR’s online contact form: https://expressforms.pa.gov/apps/pa/dcnr/buffer-my-stream.

Funding Available for Partnerships to Protect Wetland Ecosystems

About:
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making up to $30 million available through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands on Virginia agricultural acreage.
 
Offered through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, WREP gives states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes an opportunity to collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners then work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties with far-reaching impacts beyond the local area.
 
WREP partners are required to contribute matching financial or technical assistance funding for the projects that effectively integrate wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes. This locally driven process allows entities to target critical areas for restoration, share costs with NRCS, participate in project monitoring and implement innovative practices.

NRCS will prioritize applications for projects that:

  • provide the maximum match of partner resources;
  • support the goals and objectives of an NRCS landscape conservation initiative (i.e., longleaf pine in Virginia);
  • protect habitat that benefits migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife;
  • provide direct benefits to threatened and endangered species (federal and state); and
  • include targeted outreach to underserved groups in the agricultural community.

Location(s):
Statewide

Application Deadline:
November 30, 2020
 
Proposals should be emailed to Leticia Jackson-Holder at leticia.jackson@usda.gov by Nov. 30, 2020. NRCS will review partners’ project proposals and evaluate priority resource concerns, objectives, costs and expected outcomes and rank proposals based on ranking worksheet criteria included on the WREP webpage.

For More Information:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/easements/acep/?cid=nrcseprd1459249


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

About:
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:
•    Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
•    Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
•    Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
•    Hydrogen.
•    Small and large wind generation.
•    Small and large solar generation.
•    Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:
•    High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
•    Insulation.
•    Lighting.
•    Cooling or refrigeration units.
•    Doors and windows.
•    Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
•    Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
•    Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Location(s):
Statewide with restrictions as follows:
•    Businesses must be in an area OTHER THAN a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.  
•    Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Application Deadline:
Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less and Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021.

Applications for Unrestricted Grants or Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications due by March 31, 2021.

Guaranteed Loans are accepted on a continuous application cycle.

For More Information:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/va