“This is an extraordinarily transformational and pivotal moment for American agriculture,” said Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack thanking the National Association of Conservation Districts during their recent annual convention.  He expressed thanks for their support for climate smart agriculture and its possibilities for creating new revenue streams for farmers while improving soil and water quality.


The Secretary added the USDA is going to to commit roughly $850 million in 2023, which is an increase, but nothing like what could be available for conservation next year through the Inflation Reduction Act.  Vilsack said that total could hit $1.7 billion, but the challenge is finding the technical conservation experts and workers to do projects at that scale.


“We've begun to hire more people in our yes but the reality is without you we can't get it done.”


Vilsack added there’s already a big backlog of conservation projects that are funded, but unfortunately don't have the technical experts to complete the projects in a timely manner.


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