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Kentucky Groups Awarded Conservation Innovation Project Grants
Kentucky Ag Connection - 11/24/2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded two Conservation Innovation Project grants to Kentucky applicants, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles announced this week.

"We appreciate the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarding these grants to Handsome Brook Farm and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation," Quarles said. "Agriculture is already pretty conservation-oriented. And thanks to grants like these and the continued work of our farmers and our universities, Kentucky agriculture continues to do more with less, reducing inputs and producing more food and fiber for our growing world."

USDA announced the following funding for on-farm conservation projects in Kentucky:

- Regenerative Egg Farming Project (Kentucky)

Handsome Brook Farm will support five beginning farmers in adopting climate-smart regenerative egg practices. This on-farm trial will establish on-farm manure management, storage and distribution systems, and reduce on-farm soil erosion and drastically reduce watershed pollution through pasture enhancements and investments in housing infrastructure.

- Bale Grazing: A Practical, Low-Cost, and Environmentally-Sound Management Strategy to Winter Beef Cattle (Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, West Virginia)

The University of Kentucky Research Foundation will increase adoption of bale grazing to improve winter feed management for beef cattle farmers by demonstrating the practical, economic and ecological benefits of this strategy.

The grants to Kentucky were part of $25 million awarded to conservation partners across the country under the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials program.

On-Farm Trials projects support widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.


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