Tuesday, June 1, 2010

EQUIP Application Filed with the NRCS

Friday we filed paperwork with the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) for their cost-share program for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers for the year of 2011.  We haven't found land to lease yet, but had to have the paperwork in by the 1st of June or we wouldn't be eligible for the EQUIP program until 2012.  It's exciting to have it filed even if there isn't much going on with land for us right now.  But the really exciting part is this:  under normal cost-share guidelines for planting pasture mixes the legumes (clover, alfalfa etc) cannot exceed 10% of the mix.  This is in order to discourage people from making hay.  Justin, our contact at NRCS, went to a state meeting and spoke with the director of the EQUIP program about what we were working towards and explained we would need 25% legumes in our pasture mix to make it work.  The director said he'd sign off on our paperwork so that we could do it!  How nice is that - not only is Justin advocating for us, but the director will sign to support us financially!  They will pay a little over $37/acre for planting costs.  This is pretty exciting stuff, knowing that we won't have to foot the entire bill for planting etc.

The start of the urban meat rabbit grazing (two does, not for eating but for breeding, they're the only "pets")