(NAFB)--U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says Conservation Innovation Grants activate creativity and problem-solving to benefit conservation-minded farmers and ranchers. Vilsack announced Tuesday that 33 grants totaling 13.3-million dollars were awarded to entities across the nation to develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate private lands conservation. According to Vilsack - the grants are critical for developing and demonstrating new ideas for conservation on America’s private lands and strengthening rural communities. The recipients will demonstrate innovative approaches to improve soil health, conserve energy, manage nutrients and enhance wildlife habitat in balance with productive agricultural systems. Since everyone relies on the nation’s natural resources for food, fiber and clean water - Vilsack says everyone will benefit from these grants.
The competitive grants program is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. NRCS Chief Jason Weller says the program brings together the strength and innovation of the private and non-profit sectors, academia, producers and others to develop and test cutting-edge conservation tools and technologies and work side-by-side with producers to demonstrate how solutions work on the land. With extreme weather events becoming more common - USDA says these partnership grants drive cutting-edge conservation techniques that can make the nation’s landscape more resilient to climate changes.