Engaging Young Adults in Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry
About the Working Lands Climate Corps (WLCC)
The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, is pleased to partner with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)/United States Department of Agriculture, AmeriCorps, and the National Association of Conservation Districts to implement the Working Lands Climate Corps (WLCC). A program of the American Climate Corps, the WLCC will engage at least 100 young adults in technical skills and climate work across the country.
Funding from The Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation (PACT) will support The Corps Network’s ability to provide subgrants to organizations to host WLCC members across the country. The WLCC members will provide outreach and education around climate-smart agriculture assistance to farmers, ranchers, and communities. WLCC host organizations will work with state and county-level NRCS staff to facilitate conservation and climate resilience projects, track WLCC member activities, and train members for careers in Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry
Request for Proposals (RFP)
The Corps Network is accepting applications from eligible organizations to participate in the Working Lands Climate Corps. Eligible organizations may apply to host one or several WLCC members.
Eligible host organizations include nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations, Tribal governments, units of state or local government, and special district governments. Applicants must have an active SAM.gov registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t see your question answered here?
Technical questions may be submitted via email at [email protected] through March 1, 2024. Responses to frequently asked questions will be made publicly available here.
What does Climate-Smart Agriculture look like? What types of activities can be proposed for the Working Lands Climate Corps?
Specific NRCS conservation activities that address items 1-8 below are paid for through NRCS IRA and Farm Bill Programs that utilize Financial Assistance funding and are not eligible for funding under the WLCC agreements.
However, outreach, education, and training activities on these areas as well as the conservation planning elements of these activities are eligible.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) supports producers, private forest owners, and land managers in contributing to climate solutions through a suite of voluntary conservation activities. These activities aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.
NRCS Climate-Smart Mitigation Activities include:
- Soil Health: These practices focus on reducing emissions and enhancing soil carbon sequestration. By improving soil health, farmers and landowners can contribute to climate change mitigation.
- Nitrogen Management: Implementing the 4Rs of nitrogen management—Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place—helps reduce nitrous oxide emissions, a potent greenhouse gas.
- Livestock Partnership: This practice aims to reduce methane emissions from manure management in livestock operations.
- Grazing and Pasture: By implementing practices that reduce emissions and build soil carbon stocks in grazing systems, landowners contribute to climate resilience.
- Agroforestry, Forestry, and Wildlife Habitat: These practices focus on building carbon stocks in perennial biomass and soils. They also enhance wildlife habitat.
- Restoration of Disturbed Lands: Improving the quality of previously mined or degraded lands increases soil and perennial biomass carbon stocks.
- Energy, Combustion, and Electricity Efficiency: By enhancing energy and fuel efficiency and making system improvements, agricultural operations can reduce emissions.
- Wetlands: Restoring wetlands enhances carbon storage in soils and vegetation.
These practices not only address climate change but also provide co-benefits, such as improving soil health, water quality, pollinator and wildlife habitat, and air quality.
What is the deadline to submit a proposal?
Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 8, 2024. The proposal submission form can be found here.
I see there are two information sessions. Should I join both?
Organizations that are interested in applying to host WLCC members are invited to join The Corps Network and partners for one or both of our informational webinars about this opportunity. These calls are designed for applicants to ask questions; the content covered in the calls will largely depend on the questions asked. Calls will be recorded and made available through the Webinars section of The Corps Network’s website. Answers to questions will be published here in the FAQ section of this webpage.
Session #1 (February 15 at 2:00 p.m. EST) – Register
Session #2 (February 20 at 11:00 a.m. EST) – Register
My organization already has an AmeriCorps grant. Do we have to use The Corps Network’s AmeriCorps slots?
Yes. Members enrolled in the Working Lands Climate Corps must be enrolled in The Corps Network’s AmeriCorps program.
Is there a minimum/maximum amount of funding that an applicant may request?
There is not a pre-defined range. Applicants are encouraged to prepare budgets based on their capacity to recruit, serve, and place. We will review applications based on the criteria provided and make awards up to the total funding available.
Reviewers will use $50,000/full-time member as a benchmark for assessing budget efficiency when reviewing proposed budgets. This figure was developed based on data reviewed by The Corps Network of programs that provide adequate living allowances, training opportunities, and supportive services to promote member success.
Are universities eligible to apply?
Yes. Universities may apply for funding through the Working Lands Climate Corps.
Are applicants required to have a pre-existing relationship with NRCS in order to apply?
No. An existing relationship with NRCS is not a prerequisite for funding through the Working Lands Climate Corps.