July 28, 2006
July 28, 2006 - ASI Receives NRCS Grazing Grant
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Mark Rey today announced the awarding of $4.1 million to fund 27 projects in 20 states to manage and control invasive plants, animals or insects that adversely affect private and tribal grazing lands.
"These grants will develop and strengthen partnerships among private landowners, organizations and state and local governments to prevent the spread of invasive species on our nation's valuable grazing lands," Rey said. "Farmers and ranchers take great care of the land and by working together we can maintain this national treasure."
Funding for the 27 grants was provided from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Technical Assistance Program through the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI). GLCI is a partnership of individuals and organizations whose objective is to maintain and improve the management, productivity and health of the nation's privately owned grazing lands.
This is the first year USDA has offered these grants. USDA received 89 applications from 25 states totaling more than $20 million in requests. The awarded grants range from $50,000 to $300,000.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) was granted $100,000 to execute its two-year project entitled, "Bio-control of Invasive Plants Using Sheep and Goats." Materials will be developed and workshops conducted to educate federal and state agency personnel as well as potential contract grazing service providers on contract grazing for invasive weed management.
"We are thrilled to be the recipient of one of the 27 grazing grants announced today," commented Brant Miller (Maine), chair of the ASI Prescribed Grazing Committee. "A project that unites the control of invasive plant species and the sheep industry is a perfect match and a great use of industry funds."
ASI provided a $50,000 cash match in acquiring the grant.
A complete listing of the GLCI grant recipients can be found at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci/GLCI-tom.pdf
Additional information about the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative is located at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33