usda logoThe conservation stewardship program is open to all Virginia farmers and forestry producers who actively apply conservation practices on their land. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service enhancements include positive changes to soil quality, soil erosion, water quantity, water quality, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy. Through the program, producers earn higher payments for higher conservation performance. There are no restrictions on operation size, crops produced or location. The deadline to apply is Jan. 17 for the fiscal year 2014 program.