Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) -- Conservation Outreach: Racial Equity and Justice Conservation Cooperative Agreements

Funding Agency:
US Department of Agriculture

The Office of Outreach and Partnerships Division (OPD) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides leadership and funding to ensure that all programs and services are made accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching the underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners. In this RFA, NRCS requests applications for four OPD priority areas through the Racial Equity and Justice Conservation Cooperative Agreements. The goal of this outreach is for NRCS in collaboration with partners to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers, including socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning, tribal and veteran. Proposals should support activities that introduce the concepts of climate-smart agriculture and to assist producers with planning and implementation of conservation practices and principles.

In accordance with 2 CFR §415.1(d), this is a non-competitive RFA restricted to eligible entities listed in section C.1. NRCS has determined that noncompetitive awards under this RFA are in the best interest of the Government and necessary to the accomplishment of the goals of the program to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved communities.

The purpose of Conservation Outreach: Racial Equity and Justice Conservation Cooperative Agreements is to enhance NRCS and partner resources to assist historically underserved farmers and ranchers in implementing natural resources conservation practices that:

o Improve soil health;

o Improve water quality and quantity;

o Provide habitat for local wildlife species of concern;

o Improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural land;

o Build and strengthen local food projects that provide for sustainable healthy food production and economic opportunities; and

o Provide conservation planning that develops solutions to frequent and changing weather patterns.

An applicant may not submit more than one application. If more than one application is submitted, only the last application submitted will be considered.


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants from within Duke should contact as early as possible.
  • Sponsor Deadline: Oct. 25, 2021

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Projects should identify and remove barriers to accessing information and programs and reach historically underserved groups through a combination of outreach and technical assistance in managing natural resources that address the following four NRCS priority areas:

1. Addressing local natural resource issues;

2. Utilizing Climate Smart Agriculture practices and principles; to provide a foundation that will improve farming benefits to innovative conservation that leads to a more sustainable future through effective environmental practices on the land.

3. Encouraging existing and new partnerships through emphasizing urban needs and equality in advancing underserved communities’ and smallscale agriculture.

4. Developing state and community-led conservation leadership for historically underserved producers, including training students for careers in natural resources management.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants and applications must meet eligibility criteria by the application deadline to be considered for award. Eligible applicant type is determined by the implementing program statute. Applicant entities identified in the exclusions database as ineligible, prohibited/restricted, or excluded from receiving Federal contracts and certain Federal assistance and benefits will not be considered for Federal funding, as applicable to the funding being requested under this Federal program (2 CFR 200.206(d)). International and foreign organizations are not eligible for this funding opportunity.

Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types based in any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands): a. Individuals (Applicants who are individuals applying for funds separate from a business or non-profit organization they may operate are not eligible to charge indirect costs to their award. If you are an individual applying for funding, do not include any indirect costs in your proposed budget.) b. Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) c. Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) d. Nonprofit organizations having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (other than institutions of higher education) e. Private institutions of higher education f. Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education



Amount Description

The funding floor for this opportunity is $100,000, and the funding ceiling is $1,000,000. The funding floor means the minimum agreement funding amount for the Federal share per agreement awarded. The ceiling means the maximum agreement funding amount for the Federal share per agreement awarded. These numbers refer to the total agreement amount and not any specific budget period.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

October 25, 2021