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CRP Readiness Initiative Purpose
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Readiness Initiative was created to build a quality pool of conservation professionals to help the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accomplish the work involved with CRP enrollments, CRP plan development and implementation, and the follow up management of developed plans. Under guidance from the Conservation Professional Training Program, a national team of Extension staff, NRCS and FSA staff, and representatives from NRCS partner agencies and organizations has collaborated to develop a multi-faceted training program to accomplish the goals of the initiative.
View USDA-FSA video on the history of the Conservation Reserve Program. Click here.
For the past 27 years, the Conservation Reserve Program has offered landowners an economical and ecologically sound alternative to planting traditional crops in environmentally sensitive areas. While the number of enrolled acres can vary from one year to the next due to the specifics of the Farm Bill, land rental rates, and USDA priorities, the general and continuous CRP sign-ups have remained popular with landowners across the country. The CRP Readiness Initiative was created to train a group of professionals to help state NRCS offices manage CRP workloads. CRPRI trained professionals are hired by state offices on an as needed basis through cooperative agreements with agencies and organizations or contracts with individuals. Potential participants should contact their local NRCS offices regarding current engagement opportunities.
The CRP Readiness Initiative provides benefits to conservation professionals beyond working on CRP contracts directly. In today’s competitive natural resources field, it is important to understand all of the options available when making recommendations to clients. A holistic approach to conservation planning, including guidance on Farm Bill and incentive programs like CRP, can help clients maximize their economic and environmental returns on investment. The CRP Readiness Initiative is designed to provide a working understanding of CRP from basic policies and procedures to the development of comprehensive NRCS compliant conservation plans. Conservation professionals who are just starting out and seasoned professionals alike will walk away from the training with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed recommendations to clients and provide NRCS assistance should the opportunity arise.
Presented by the Conservation Professional Training Program, CRPRI has already delivered 21 in-person Core Training workshops around the country, developed supplemental courses on a variety of topics and offered mentorships to all participants. Over the past two years, more than 650 individuals were recruited to the program. Currently, the Core Training and several supplemental courses are available in convenient online formats. Additional hybrid supplemental courses will be available during spring 2014. Independent conservation professionals, registered technical service providers, members of conservation organizations, and employees of agencies with formal connections to NRCS are encouraged to participate in the program.
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Become a certified CRP Technical Service Provider through a simple four step training process. Follow the link below for a detailed program guide.
NRCS offices manage CRP contracting based on the unique conditions and demands in each region. Please contact your local office for potential engagement opportunities.
Beyond being able to provide NRCS/FSA-compliant CRP plans, CRPRI training offers a number of additional benefits:
- Expand your knowledge of CRP for FREE*
- Earn CEUs in multiple conservation disciplines
- Learn to navigate NRCS requirements and standards
- Add another service to help current clients
- Add a new certification to your TechReg profile
*Online Core Training and mentorship are free of charge to all participants. Supplemental courses are free of charge to Core Training participants and available for a fee to all other participants. See Training Process page for details.