NRCS Offers Urban Ag Assistance in Cook County 2016 was the first year NRCS offered an urban agricultural project through the (EQIP) to provide financial and technical assistance to urban farmers who address natural resource concerns.
GardenNews.biz - Jan 09,2017 - NRCS Offers Urban Ag Assistance in Cook County
Champaign, IL, — Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer special funding for individuals and groups who produce agricultural crops in Cook County. 2016 was the first year NRCS offered an urban agricultural project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide financial and technical assistance to urban farmers who address natural resource concerns. Last year participants received funding to implement three practices; hoop houses (what NRCS calls a high tunnel system), conservation cover, and cover crops.
Individuals or groups interested in applying to receive financial assistance through EQIP should fill out an application for the program and establish records at their local USDA Service Center. NRCS accepts applications year round and keeps applications on file until application deadlines and funding cycles are established.
Two 2017 application deadline dates have been set to submit completed applications to NRCS. Those deadline dates are January 20 and March 17, 2017. Each deadline will have its own funding cycle for applications to be ranked and compete for funding. NRCS staff will assist applicants through the process and explain the steps and activities. NRCS will evaluate applications for eligibility and make ranking decisions based on resource concerns and practices identified by growers. Applications that rank the highest will be selected for funding and NRCS will develop a contract that outlines specific practices and an implementation schedule.
If interested, individuals or groups should contact NRCS staff at the numbers listed below or visit the Illinois NRCS website at www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.
Contact Trenton Rader for South Cook County (South of Cermak Road) at (815) 937-8940 ext. 3 or 815-462-3106 ext. 3
Contact Jim Rospopo for North Cook County (North of Cermak Road) at (630) 584-8240 ext. 3.