Farm Pictured: Zilke Vegetable Farm, Milan, MI

*Farmers: Sign up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Before
February 27, 2015 <>*

With a February 27 deadline approaching, farmers and ranchers in Michigan
have only a few weeks to apply to enroll in the federal Conservation
Stewardship Program (CSP).

*What is CSP?*

CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage and is widely
popular among farmers and ranchers. Since the program began in 2009, nearly
70 million acres of farm and ranch land have been enrolled in the program.

CSP rewards producers for the conservation and environmental benefits they
produce on their working agricultural lands. All private agricultural land,
including cropland, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll in CSP.

For example, CSP contract-holding farmers can receive payments for actively
managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover
crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer
strips, and the transition to organic farming.

*How do I Sign Up?*

Details on this year’s program are available for free in an Information
published this week by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

*Farmers and ranchers must submit initial applications to their local NRCS
office by Feb 27 to have their applications considered for 2015.*
Applications will be scored and ranked based on farmers’ current and
planned on-farm conservation activities, and the applications offering the
highest level of environmental benefits will be awarded CSP contracts.

*See our Information Alert
and the Farmers Guide to CSP

*Are you interested? NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!*

Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the program for 2015 have
until February 27 to go to their local NRCS office and sign up. The initial
sign-up process is easy!

 Download our new CSP Information Alert
for step-by-step instructions, the updated Farmers’ Guide
for comprehensive program details, and help spread the word!

* - - - *

*Did you enroll in CSP in 2011?*

If so, then this is the last year of your five-year CSP contract and thus
you now have the opportunity to sign-up to *renew your participation* in
the program for 2016-2020. You must apply to renew by March 31. Refer to
our Information Alert for further information.

Also – please contact us if you would like to share the story about how
your farm has benefited from CSP! [log in to unmask]
<https:[log in to unmask]>
or 734-365-6932.

 - - -

*Thank you for all that you do for Michigan Communities! As always, let me
know if you have any questions!*

Best wishes,

*Lindsey Scalera*

*Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy*

Grassroots Organizer

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*National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition*

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