February 11, 2021

The University of Maryland Extension Beginning Farmer program in collaboration with the University of Delaware Extension and the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative is excited to announce a $250,000 grant award from the USDA-NRCS. The goal of this project is to target historically underserved groups to increase their knowledge of Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, understanding of application processes, and how conservation projects can fit into an overall farm plan.

The funds will be used for education and outreach activities including the development of a program titled “Cultivating Conservation for Maryland and Delaware’s Small and Historically Underserved Farmers”. The project will operate from August 2020 through July 2022.

This project will be headed by a number of key personnel including University of Maryland Extension, University of Delaware Extension, Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, and the Agriculture Law Education Initiative at the UMD Francis King Carey School of Law.

Funding will be used for developing curriculum, marketing the program, conducting workshops, field trips, outreach, and transportation-related costs. The outcomes and impacts of this project will be increased knowledge of conservation programs and resources available such as Web Soil Survey, familiarity with navigating NRCS offices and federal, state, and local agencies, increased comfort with contractual obligations and expectations, and understanding the role of conservation in a farm production plan.

For more information visit: https://extension.umd.edu/programs/agriculture-food-systems/program-areas/integrated-programs/beginning-farmer-success/cultivating-conservation or contact: Dr. Sarah Hirsh, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension, shirsh@umd.edu, 410-651-1350.

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