The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) strongly encourages Tennessee agricultural producers who want to enhance their current conservation efforts to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)-Classic, formerly known as CSP-General. The deadline to apply is Feb. 4, 2022.

“The Conservation Stewardship Program is a great opportunity for Tennessee producers and foresters to maintain and build on their existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operation,” said Sheldon Hightower, Tennessee NRCS State Conservationist.

CSP offers additional opportunities to expand on existing conservation efforts by offering conservation practices, enhancements, bundles, and other conservation activities.

Producers who decide to enroll in CSP will have a consultation with their local NRCS conservation planner to evaluate their current management system and the natural resources on their land. The NRCS conservation planner will then present a variety of CSP conservation activities for the producer to consider implementing in order to address additional natural resource concerns.

While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, applications must be submitted by Feb. 4 to be considered for fiscal year 2022 funding.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively maintaining the existing level of conservation based on the land uses included in the contract and NRCS assessment of existing stewardship at the time of enrollment, and implementing additional conservation activities.

Producers interested in CSP are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center or visit nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. For more information about the CSP program, contact Jamie Carpenter at jamie.carpenter@usda.gov or 615-277-2576.

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