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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Conservation Stewardship Program

For many years we heard farmers say that there were many programs to help farmers, but none rewarded farmers who were already good stewards of the land. Now, thanks to the work of MFAI and many other organizations across the state and nation, farmers and ranchers have access to the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) rewards farmers for conservation practices that they are already doing and provides them the opportunity to do more. CSP does this through five year contracts capped at $40,000 per year. Unlike its predecessor, the Conservation Security Program, the new CSP is open to all farmers across all states.

Wisconsin farmers and private forestland owners are reporting back that this program is doing exactly what it is meant to do: rewarding good stewards, continuing good conservation practices, and promoting even more conservation on working land. For a few examples, check out these profiles of CSP contract holders:

In addition to having helped create the program, MFAI works with non-governmental organizations and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service partners in Wisconsin to help assure that farmers know about CSP and can easily sign up to use its benefits.  We also work nationally every year to protect CSP’s funding.  If you want to help protect CSP, or if you would like announcements for the next CSP ranking period, sign up for MFAI’s newsletter, the Fields Report.

For more information on CSP, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or visit the Natural Resources Conservation Stewardship program web page.