By Adam Jones, USDA-NRCS Kentucky Grazing Specialist - We all want to set up a grazing operation just like we see at field days and hear about at cattleman’s meetings and grazing schools, but addressing natural resource concerns while improving grazing practices can often cut into our profits. Fortunately, several USDA Farm Bill programs offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provide opportunities for financial assistance to restore and improve the grasslands in your operation. NRCS offices will assist you in developing a conservation plan for your operation and inform you of financial assistance opportunities that may be available to help you implement that conservation plan.

5 Steps to Assistance

NRCS 5 steps

Taken from KY NRCS website

The graphic describes the steps associated with getting assistance and funding for USDA Farm Bill program assistance. For more information regarding each of these steps, see the KY NRCS website

Programs Funded Through NRCS and Other Government Agencies

  1. Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Prescriptive Grazing Management System for Grazing Lands, Stockpiling Cool Season Forage and Native Grasses or Legumes in Forage Base are just a few of the conservation activities that will be available through CSP in 2017.
  2. Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). If you are interested in improving your grazing operation through a prescribed grazing system, EQIP may be able to provide financial assistance to install grazing practices such as exclusion fence to keep livestock out of ponds, streams and wetlands as well as interior fence to subdivide large pastures into smaller grazing units. Watering facilities are also available under EQIP to better distribute grazing and help address water quality concerns. EQIP also offers forage improvement practices to convert endophyte infected fescue pastures or add native warm season grasses to your rotation. Talk with your local NRCS office to see a complete list of practices offered through EQIP.
  3. Other Funding Opportunities. In addition to the federal programs, there are also opportunities for state and some local cost-share programs. The Kentucky Division of Conservation offers a State Cost Share program under which rotational grazing system establishment and pasture and hay land forage, may be available for cost share. The website for this program is

Please follow up at the website listed or call your county conservation district office or NRCS field office for more information.