USDA Awards the North Dakota Trusted Advisor Partnership More Than $10M to Accelerate Soil Health Practices in the Northern Great Plains

A group of people, recognized for their soil health practices, standing in a field of wheat in the Northern Great Plains.
A group of people, recognized for their soil health practices, standing in a field of wheat in the Northern Great Plains.

By Ben Harris

Since 2022, Sustainable Food Lab has served as a core project administrator for the North Dakota Trusted Advisor Partnership (TAP), a multi-stakeholder platform for advancing climate-smart agriculture in a state that has lost as much as 50% of its topsoil in the past decades — the result of increasing extreme weather and unsustainable land use patterns. Already backed by private company investment and Walmart Foundation funding given to SFL, TAP received a further boost late in 2023 with the news that the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), one of the leading federal funding vehicles for catalyzing landscape-level conservation and farm viability, is giving $20 million for technical and financial assistance to farmers enrolled in the TAP program and a parallel cost-share campaign in Minnesota headed up by Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District. TAP and Wilkin SWCD will be coordinating their efforts to ensure conservation ag connectivity between the agronomists, farmers, and CPG companies participating in the joint initiative, called the North Dakota/Minnesota Supply Chain Soil Health Partnership.

Following on the Inflation Reduction Act’s unprecedented funding for climate-smart commodities, the RCPP doubled its spending allocation in 2023, evidence of the groundswell of public and private sector interest in putting enabling conditions in place for regenerative agriculture at scale.

You can read the official announcement in full here and view other RCPP awardees on the program’s website.

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