Grants Available for Monroe County Farmers The Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program What Is the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program? The Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) was created through the Clean Streams Fund and was incorporated in the FY2022-23 General Funds State Budget. The purpose of the $154 million program is to assist farmers in the design and installation of agricultural “best management practices” (BMP’s) that will improve the long-term viability of their farm’s natural resources. Many of these “BMP’s” also help farmers cut costs on inputs and labor, improving our state’s food security by reducing some of the burden on agricultural businesses.
ACAP is administered by the State Conservation Commission (SCC) and delegated to participating Conservation Districts for local implementation of the program. Monroe County Conservation District has received $300,000 in funds to implement the program in our county over the next three years.
On August 7th, 2023 we’ll be opening the application process for our county’s ACAP program. Monroe County farmers can apply for grants of up to $30,000 to fund projects on their farm. Farmers are required to supply a 10% match for the total cost of their project. That match can consist of a cash match financed by the farmer or another agency, or labor provided by the farmer to complete the project (ex: installing your own fence, excavating for a water line, etc). Labor and equipment supplied by the applicant is only eligible to be used as match.
Who Is Eligible for an ACAP Grant? Applicants must meet the following definitions:
An individual who is actively engaged in the production of an “agricultural commodity” as a part of a “normal farming operation”, as defined by the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act (3 PA. Stat. Subsection 952).
Agricultural Commodity (2)
Any of the following that are transported or intended to be transported in commerce:
Agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural, floricultural, viticultural or dairy products.
Livestock and the products of livestock.
Ranch-raised fur bearing animals and the products of ranch-raised fur bearing animals.
The products of poultry or bee raising.
Forestry and forestry products
Any products raised or produced on farms intended for human consumption and the processed or manufactured products of such products intended for human consumption.
Applicants must have at least one or a combination of the following plans, if applicable, before receiving a grant:
NRCS Conservation Plan or Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
Manure Management Plan* or Nutrient Management Plan
*For livestock operations only
If you don’t have a current plan(s), we will assist with developing and/or funding the development of any plans needed.
What Costs Are Eligible for ACAP Grants? A list of approved practices (Ex: terraces, waterways, manure storage, livestock fencing, watering systems) can be found on the District website (www.mcconservation.org) or the ACAP homepage which can be found by searching “ACAP State Conservation Commission” online.
Any of the following costs can be included in the application. Private sector technical assistance (engineering, as-builts, etc.) can be reimbursed by up to 10% of the total construction cost.
Project design, engineering and associated planning
Project construction or installation
Construction materials (equipment purchases are not eligible; equipment rentals are eligible with prior approval)
Post construction inspections
Applying for ACAP Grants The first step to the application process is reaching out to the District to set up a pre-application meeting. At that meeting, we will review your project and provide you with the tools to build an application. Applications won’t be reviewed until you have a pre-application meeting. Sample application documents can be found on our website. Applications will be accepted and funded on an on-going basis, beginning August 7th, 2023, until our funds are exhausted. Eligible projects will be reviewed within 90 days of receiving a complete application.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a pre-application meeting, please contact our Agricultural Technician.