USDA recognizes that conservation by farmers, ranchers, and forest owners today means thriving and sustainable agriculture for our future.
Seventy percent of the nation's land is privately owned. Conservation of our nation's private lands not only results in healthy soil, water, air, plants, animals, and ecosystems but also provides productive and sustainable working lands.
Whether you are small-scale vegetable grower, a cattle rancher on 10,000 acres of range, a multi-tract timber manager, or someone who owns agricultural land, USDA has tools and resources to help you learn about conservation and what you can do, voluntarily, to improve the natural resource conditions on your land.
Visit our Soil Health page to learn about best practices to improve the health of your land.
USDA provides conservation information and assistance to help you manage, improve, conserve, and protect your soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources - including livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, insects, and pollinators.
Healthy soil is the foundation of productive, sustainable agriculture. USDA is here to help you build healthier soils across your working land, all the while reducing erosion, cycling nutrients, and strengthening the bottom line of your operation.
Want to know what soils make up your farm? Try out the Web Soil Survey. Through the Soil Survey program and the National Cooperative Soil Survey, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners investigate, inventory, classify, and describe the soils of the United States and beyond.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Technical Assistance Program provides agricultural producers and other natural resource managers with the knowledge and tools they need to conserve, maintain, and restore the natural resources on the lands that they manage.
Although the program does not include financial or cost-share assistance, clients may develop conservation plans, which can serve as a springboard for those interested in participating in USDA financial assistance programs. Conservation Technical Assistance Program planning can also serve as a door to financial assistance and easement conservation programs provided by other federal, state, and local programs.
No matter your conservation goals, we can help you achieve them by providing one-on-one personalized advice and access to financial resources to apply your conservation choices.
USDA Farm Service Agency provides financial assistance to producers through:
- Conservation Reserve Program
- Emergency Conservation Program
- Emergency Forest Restoration Program
- Conservation Contract Program
- Conservation Loan Program
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers several financial assistance programs to apply or enhance conservation on land in agricultural production, including:
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- Conservation Stewardship Program
- Agricultural Management Assistance Program
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service also works with partners and producers to protect working farms and ranches through easements and to establish or restore wildlife habitat and retire lands. Learn more about the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Water Bank Program, and Healthy Forest Reserve Program for your long-term goals.