Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)<p>​The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a technical agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. The role of NRCS is to provide technical and financial assistance to help landowners and agricultural producers protect their soil, water and related resources. NRCS administers various programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).<br> <br>EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible producers to install certain conservation practices on their farm. Typical practices include: fencing along streams to keep cows out; installing alternative watering systems; protection of heavy use areas where livestock concentrate; installing stock trails to keep livestock out of sensitive areas; converting cropland to pasture or hayland; installing grassed waterways and field borders to control erosion on cropland; and long term no-till planting.<br> <br>Persons who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land may apply. NRCS representatives will visit the farm and determine the existing resource concerns. Applications are ranked according to the proposed environmental benefits. Approved applicants will enter into a two to ten year contract with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). A conservation plan will be developed with the producer that identifies the appropriate conservation practices to address the resource concerns. EQIP offers 50 to 75 percent cost share assistance on certain conservation practices that meet NRCS technical standards and specifications. <br><br>""The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."<br> <br>For more information:  Contact Will Faulkner at 828.439.9727 ext. 3<br> or <a href="mailto:william.faulkner@nc.usda.gov"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">william.faulkner@nc.usda.gov</span></a></p>