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WEBINAR: CART before the Horse: Understanding Access to Federal Assistance

Thursdays, September 17th, September 24th, and October 8th, CART before the Horse: Understanding Access to Federal Assistance Webinar Series, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and its ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program.

Farmers and ranchers nationwide will have access to billions of dollars in federal assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to maintain and begin critical conservation efforts on their farms and ranches that benefit us all. How is access to these resources determined?

In 2020 a new tool called the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) was introduced by NRCS. It uses a conservation program neutral method to assess the existing condition and planned conservation activities on a client’s operation and provides an efficient ranking tool to rank single applications into multiple applicable ranking pools for funding consideration. A three-part webinar series on CART will take place during September and October to provide interested farmers and ranchers with an overview of the tool, as well as a deeper look into how it works.

Presenters:
Aaron Lauster, Conservation Planning Branch Chief, NRCS
Eric McTaggart, Natural Resources Specialist, NRCS

Moderator:
Jeff Schahczenski, Agricultural and Natural Resources Economist, NCAT

Webinar 1: Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART): Overview
Thursday, September 17, 1:30 p.m. EDT
Presented by: Aaron Lauster, Conservation Planning Branch Chief, NRCS
This webinar is intended to give farmers and ranchers a basic understanding and familiarity with CART, including how CART can be used to evaluate their operations for conservation assistance and funding consideration, and how they can request an assessment.
Register for Part 1…

Webinar 2: Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART): The Process
Thursday, September 24, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Presented by: Eric McTaggart, Natural Resources Specialist, NRCS, and Aaron Lauster, Conservation Planning Branch Chief, NRCS
This webinar will walk through an example of a farmer or rancher who is interested in applying for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) with NRCS. It will start with completing a CART assessment on the client’s operation and then explain how that application is considered for funding.
Register for Part 2…

Webinar 3: Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART): Deep Dive
Thursday, October 8, 2:00 p.m. EDT
Presented by: Aaron Lauster, Conservation Planning Branch Chief, NRCS, and Eric McTaggart, Natural Resources Specialist, NRCS
This webinar will build on the previous two by taking a deeper look at the science behind CART and the methodology the ranking tool uses to rank different applications across multiple ranking pools for funding consideration.
Register for Part 3…

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