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3 nonprofits serving Puerto Rico get USDA conservation assistance grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $50 million in 118 partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance for climate-smart agriculture and forestry.

Three of those partnerships — with Pecan Street Inc., Rural Advancement Foundation International‐USA, and the Rural Coalition — will benefit Puerto Rico communities, according to the agency.

The Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will fund two-year projects to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are new to farming, low income, socially disadvantaged or military veterans. Projects will support USDA’s broader effort to address climate change and equitable access to programs.

Pecan Street’s proposal calls for “Improving racial equality and inclusivity in access to NRCS resources and adoption of climate‐smart agriculture,” the Rural Advancement Foundation International‐USA’s proposes to further “Conservation resources for resilient farms,” and the Rural Coalition seeks to establish “Effective partnerships to catalyze resilient operations for historically underserved farmers and ranchers.”

Details related to how much funding each organization will receive were not disclosed.

The program encourages new partnerships and the development of state and community conservation leadership for historically underserved producers, with projects focusing on one or more of the following key conservation priorities:

  • Improving soil health and water quality;
  • Providing habitat for at-risk wildlife;
  • Improving natural resources and productivity on agricultural lands; and/or
  • Building and strengthening local and regional food systems and markets.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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