Regional Conservation Partnership Program


To further the conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable use of soil, water (including sources of drinking water and groundwater), wildlife, agricultural land, and related natural resources on eligible land on a regional or watershed scale based on Partner lead strategies and goals. To encourage eligible partners to cooperate with producers in implementing projects that will result in the adoption, installation, and maintenance of eligible activities that affect multiple agricultural or nonindustrial private forest operations on a local, regional, State, or multistate basis. To encourage the flexible and streamlined delivery of conservation assistance to producers through partnership agreements. To engage producers and eligible partners in conservation projects to achieve greater conservation outcomes and benefits for producers than would otherwise be achieved.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Food Security Act of 1985, Title XII, Part Subtitle I, Public Law 99-198
the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334, 16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.
Inflation Reduction Act 2022, Public Law 117-169
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Producers in an approved partner project area who have priority resource concerns related to soil, water, and related natural resources, or who need assistance with complying with Federal and State environment laws. A participant may be an owner, landlord, operator, or tenant of eligible agricultural lands or non-industrial forestlands. Limited resource producers, small-scale producers, social disadvantaged individuals, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, Alaska natives, and Pacific Islanders are encouraged to apply.
Beneficiary Eligibility
To be eligible the agricultural producers participating within an approved project area must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and in compliance with the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) payment limitations, unless waived during the partnership agreement negotiation.
Partnering entities must prove their eligibility by providing documents indicating their legal status and agree to provide such information to NRCS as the agency deems necessary or desirable to assist in its determination of eligibility for program benefits and for other program implementation purposes. To be eligible to participate, a producer must be within an approved project area, must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions (7 CFR part 12), and must be in compliance with the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) payment limitations (7 CFR part 1400), unless waived during the partnership agreement negotiation. To be eligible as a Partner, for a Programmatic Agreement, you must be one of the following: An agricultural or silvicultural producer association or other group of producers, a state or unit of local government, an Indian tribe, a farmer cooperative, a water district, irrigation district, acequia, rural water district or association, or other organization with specific water delivery authority to agricultural producers, municipal water or wastewater treatment entity, Institution of Higher Education, an organization or entity with an established history of working cooperatively with producers on ag land, an entity, such as Indian tribe, State government, local government or a nongovernmental organization that has a farmland or grassland protection program that purchases agricultural land easements, and a Conservation District.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. For each program year the Natural Resources Conservation Service issues one or more announcements of program funding (APF) through the website. Application procedures are outlined in the APF.
Award Procedure
NRCS announces RCPP awards through a public notice and then enters into project negotiations with lead partners to finalize the details of RCPP projects.
Deadlines for proposals for partnership agreements identified in applicable notices of availability of funding. Deadlines for producer applications under a partnership agreement identified in the partnership agreement and posted by the partner and NRCS on applicable websites and through other publications.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Application procedures are outlined in the APF.
A partner may not appeal any adverse determination to the Chief of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The agency decision for development and submission of a full proposal is final and there is no appeal process, or opportunity for reconsideration. This is included in the APF. Producers participating in RCPP in an approved project area may appeal an adverse determination through appeal process under 7 CFR parts 11 and 614.
A partnership agreement will be for five years. NRCS may provide a single one year no-cost extension at the request of a partner. The 2018 Farm Bill provides USDA with the authority to provide noncompetitive renewals of existing RCPP projects. Details are provided to existing partners.
How are proposals selected?
Applications will be evaluated against the following four criteria: Impact, Partner Contribution, Innovation, and Partnerships and Management. More detail and subcriteria are identified in the APF.
How may assistance be used?
Technical assistance is provided for conservation planning, design and implementation of conservation practices for eligible participants and in limited situations for overall project management. Financial assistance is provided to producers for implementation of conservation activities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Natural Resources Conservation Service makes periodic random reviews of the operation and maintenance of RCPP contract items.
Partnership Agreement copies are maintained in National Headquarters, Washington, DC and official Partnership Agreements are maintained in State and producer contracts and agreements in local NRCS offices and Federal record centers for specified number of years.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. RCPP lead partners propose and deliver partner contributions as a part of their project. NRCS has a goal that partners provide contributions that at least match the RCPP investment. More details are available in annual funding announcements.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Eligible partners enter into multi-year partnership agreements of five years with NRCS to promote conservation and address resource concerns on eligible agricultural lands. RCPP is intended to leverage investment in natural resources conservation along with services and non-Federal resources of other eligible partners. Identified in partnership agreement.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for location of the USDA service center. For a list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, information is available on the internet at
Headquarters Office
Troy Daniell, Acting Branch Chief, Program Projects Branch, Financial Assistance Programs Division
Natural Resources Conservation Service
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250 US
Phone: 651-602-7900
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and Expenses) FY 22$66,369,000.00; FY 23 est $212,439,000.00; FY 24 est $236,508,000.00; FY 21$38,228,000.00; FY 20$24,164,000.00; FY 19$15,845,000.00; FY 18$30,950,000.00; FY 17$25,778,000.00; FY 16$34,646,000.00; - (Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$106,609,000.00; FY 23 est $460,107,000.00; FY 24 est $1,001,053,000.00; FY 21$42,058,000.00; FY 20$28,558,000.00; FY 19$32,658,000.00; FY 18$41,903,000.00; FY 17$26,574,000.00; FY 16$24,507,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes $300 million annually for RCPP. While the range of financial assistance offered can vary, in recent years the minimum award has been $250,000 and the maximum award has been $10 million. For FY 2022 RCPP, the average award amount was just over $4 million to be expended over 5 years. The IRA authorized $250 millions in FY2023.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Regulations for the program will be promulgated at 7 CFR part 1464. Related program manuals, handbooks and leaflets are issued by NRCS.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.