Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
James Anderson, Co-Director, Water Resources Center and Les Everett, Water Resources Center
U.S. Department of Agriculture 1996 Farm Bill administered by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
September 2000 - September 2003
The EQIP education project, a conservation education partnership with the USDA-NRCS, arose out of the recognition that landowners and farm operators need to understand the resource concerns on their land and how to implement better practices. The program provides cost-share and incentive payments and technical assistance to agricultural producers for implementing specific conservation practices. EQIP is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The core of EQIP education was a team of U of M Extension Service and NRCS staff working together to determine education priorities, develop education materials, and deliver or organize education programs. Some specialized programs have been developed and delivered by U of M Extension Service and research faculty based at research stations and county offices around the state. Education emphasis is 2000-2002 continued in the high impact areas of crop nutrient, manure, and grazing management. Additional education programs were added to serve the needs of audiences that traditionally do not participate in USDA programs; beginning farmers and rural residents on small acerages.
EQIP Education in Minnesota included:
- Development of education materials for use in workshops and other settings.
- Education programs at regional level for agricultural producers and professionals on EQIP-related practices.
- Local education grants to assist watershed and county local work groups in presenting education programs.
- Regional staff to assist watershed and county local work groups in preparing education programs, as well as to develop statewide education materials.