What the NARC&DC Is About
To assist RC&D Councils in developing partnerships that enhance the quality of life in America's communities.
The NARC&DC coordinates the efforts of member RC&D Councils at the national level. It acts as a liaison between Councils, foundations and the government in legislative, and inter-governmental activities. Members of the National Board, volunteers and staff provide training and help solve challenges that RC&D Councils face in their efforts to sustain and improve the quality of life in their communities.
The National Association of RC&D Councils, like the young seedling in the picture, needs nurturing hands to grow. Help this important organization in its continued efforts to benefit RC&D Councils nationwide by donating time, energy and funding.
The benefits of RC&D Council projects are many. They include new business creation, job creation, the protection of many acres of wildlife habitat, training community members in important business skills, preservation of important cultural and heritage sites, enhancement of water quality, erosion mitigation, flood control, maintaining healthy forests, wildfire protection, soil conservation, emergency preparation measures, and many more.
RC&D's Historic Focus
The RC&D Program was established in the Agriculture Act of 1962, with responsibility for the administration of the program placed within the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Successive Farm Bills have provided for the further development of the program, including deepening the partnership between RC&D Councils and the NRCS.
Natural resource projects, soil conservation, land management, and water quality have historically been a major focus of RC&D Councils. Local councils are made up of local leaders who are often the best equipped to identify local needs, find partners and funding, create a plan of action and shepherd projects through to completion.
In essence, RC&D councils identify unmet needs in their communities and work to solve them through a wide range of actions. Council projects can have many goals, for example:
- Stream bank restoration to reduce erosion;
- Training on no-till and other crop techniques that conserve energy, soil, and water;
- Development of biofuel crops and other clean energy sources;
- Tree plantings to reduce water and wind erosion; and
- Facilitation of smart growth and community planning discussions.
Community development initiatives are similarly varied. RC&D Council projects typically target areas such as small business facilitation, cultural heritage preservation, tourism promotion, etc. For example, RC&D Councils run projects such as:
- Creation and promotion of farmers markets;
- Workshops and training on business opportunities in line with the RC&D mission;
- Facilitation of agri-tourism;
- Creation or facilitation of small business centers;
- Grants or loans to small businesses; and
- Providing information about USDA small/rural business programs.