The Marion SWCD’s partners also provide grants that work to get conservation projects on the ground. The Marion SWCD planners can assist property owners in identifying other grants that may be available. This is a list of programs that are available from the agencies located in the Marion County USDA Service Center; The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the USDA Farm Service Agency.



Natural Resources Conservation Service

With the mission of “Helping People Help the Land,” the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the Nation’s soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal lands. With their help, people are better able to conserve, maintain, or improve their natural resources.

NRCS Programs

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)

This program supports landowners installing best management practices or conservation practices on their property to solve specific natural resource issues (such as erosion, weed control, over-grazing, etc.).Landowners who have gone through the conservation planning process with Marion SWCD are encouraged to apply.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP)

CStP encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. CStP is a new voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. CStP provides opportunities to both recognize excellent stewards and deliver valuable new conservation.

Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)

Landowners restore wetlands, flooded areas, and adjacent upland areas for fish and wildlife. In return, landowners receive up to 75 to 100% of the cost to install conservation measures. They may also enter into a 30-year or permanent conservation easement with the government and receive from 75 to 100% of the agricultural value of the land.

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

Landowners develop a farm plan that installs wildlife habitat measures such as planting native trees, shrubs, and grasses, creating snags, fencing off natural areas, and installing bat boxes, snake hibernating mounds, and raptor perches. In return, landowners receive up to 75% of the cost to install these measures.



Farm Service Agency

Farm Service Agency is a USDA federal agency that equitably serves all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans.

Farm Service Programs

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary land retirement program that helps agricultural producers protect environmentally sensitive land, decrease erosion, restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard ground and surface water. The program is a partnership among producers; tribal, state, and federal governments; and, in some cases, private groups.

Conservation Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees conservation loans to promote conservation on farms and ranches throughout the United States to conserve local natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide farmers access to credit to implement these practices.