NACD Leads Letter Supporting Technical Assistance and Conservation Programs in Federal Spending Bill

Washington, D.C. – On March 29, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and a coalition of agriculture and conservation organizations sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees requesting at least $1.2 billion for NRCS Conservation Operations and full authorized funding for farm bill conservation programs in Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). More than 85 conservation and agriculture groups signed the letter to support the requests. Conservation Operations funds Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA), which facilitates the implementation of on-the-ground conservation by supporting our conservation workforce, conservation planning, and the extension of specialized technical assistance to producers.

“Funding for NRCS Conservation Operations was reduced in the final Fiscal Year 2024 spending bill, so it is critical that we make a strong case for reversing course as Congress develops FY25 appropriations bills,” said NACD President Kim LaFleur. “Nearly one hundred conservation and agriculture groups signing this letter sends a clear message to Congress that increasing funding for CTA is vital to supporting our conservation delivery system and putting effective conservation practices on the ground in all parts of the country.”

Providing strong funding for CTA is now more important than ever as NRCS and partners work to administer historic investments in voluntary conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program. The letter also urges Congress to reject any reductions in mandatory spending for these important USDA conservation programs. Maintaining funding is required to reduce persistent backlogs in these programs and help an increasing number of producers voluntarily implement conservation of their lands.