North Jersey RC&D
Climate Smart Commodities Grant
Grazing Initiative North Jersey RC&D
With funding from the USDA, North Jersey RC&D is creating conservation and marketing opportunities for grass based livestock producers. This 5-year project is aimed to accelerate the transition to a resilient, equitable, and inclusive agricultural system that builds soil health, improves water quality, sequesters carbon, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases biodiversity, and revitalizes farm businesses and regional food systems.
Agricultural producers in New Jersey are uniquely positioned to tap into over 20 million customers in the New York - New Jersey - Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Not only are a larger portion of these consumers hungry for locally grown and sourced products, but consumers desire grass-fed proteins raised on pasture and by producers who care for their well being. Shortages on grocery store meat shelves, once thought unlikely, became a reality during COVID, further highlighting the need to build food resiliency through local supply chains.
This Grazing Initiative serves to provide agricultural producers with tools to capitalize on these opportunities while building resilience through regenerative agriculture practices and studying the impacts of those practices.
What will Grazing Initiative participants receive?
Financial Cost Share Incentives
Up to $60,000 in cost share funding per producer towards
Grazing Conservation Practices. Cost share = 75% of total
costs (HU Rate 90%).
Customized Business and Marketing Assistance
Up to $30,000 in cost share towards business planning
and/or marketing assistance over 5 years.
Receive assistance for pasture and herd management,
rotational grazing plans, nutrient and feed management,
cropland conversion to pasture, and more.
Improved Climate Resilience and Soil Health
Work with RC&D staff and partners to quantify benefits while
building soil health and resilience for future generations.
who should APPLY
Wants to join a 5-year Grazing Lands Research Initiative
Current operation includes pastured livestock (beef cattle, sheep/lambs, goats);
Willing to work on furthering on-farm grazing, individualized marketing strategies, and tracking overall outcomes (ecosystem, climate, soil health, economic);
Located within 7 NJ counties (Mercer, Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex, Morris, Somerset, and Union);
Small and historically underserved producers encouraged to apply.
STEP 1: APPLY
Tell us about yourself and farm; share your intent for applying and desired use for the financial incentives; provide contact information
STEP 2: APPLICATION REVIEW
North Jersey RC&D staff will review your application and reach out to you this fall to schedule a follow-up phone conversation
STEP 3: SITE VISIT
In-person site visits with applicants will be scheduled by North Jersey RC&D
STEP 4: ENROLL IN 5-YEAR INITIATIVE
North Jersey RC&D and selected participants will sign Agreement, Anticipated early 2024