USDA Under Secretary Bonnie Visits Pennsylvania, Announces New Funding

Apr 19, 2024

Robert Bonnie, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, visited Pennsylvania’s State Technical Committee on April 16 to make some important announcements. 

Bonnie met with Federal, State, and other conservation partners in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He announced the availability of an historic $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2024 to invest in partner-driven conservation and climate solutions through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. 

USDA is accepting project proposals now through July 2, 2024, that will help farmers and forest landowners adopt and expand conservation strategies to enhance natural resources while tackling the climate crisis. “These projects in turn can save farmers money, create new revenue streams, and increase productivity,” said Bonnie.

To date, Pennsylvania Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has awarded over $76 million to conservation partners through RCPP, leveraging over $107 million in partnership contributions. This $183 million has been utilized to install and implement conservation practices on Pennsylvania’s farms and forests.  However, the demand is great among Pennsylvania’s forestry and agricultural producers; and the need to improve water quality and wildlife habitat is imperative. Pennsylvania has over 28,000 miles of impaired streams, and over 660 species designated in greatest conservation need. "The $1.5 Billion in RCPP highlighted by Under Secretary Bonnie will go a long way to continue to improve water quality, restore wildlife habitat, and sequester carbon," said Denise Coleman, Pennsylvania NRCS State Conservationist. Under Secretary Bonnie encouraged Pennsylvania’s state and local agencies and nongovernmental organizations to apply for this historic, once in a generation opportunity.

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