New England Conservation Implementation Specialist Program

As American Farmland Trust continues to grow, we’re adding expertise to support farmers directly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) now has an unprecedented level of funding available for programs that support farmers and ranchers in adopting conservation practices. But accessing this funding can be daunting for farmers. American Farmland Trust and NRCS created a new “implementation specialist” position as part of a longstanding conservation planning partnership with NRCS Massachusetts, which began in 2019. Based on the success of piloting this role with two specialists in Massachusetts in September 2022, we have since expanded the team to include nine in Massachusetts and four additional Implementation Specialists in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Our implementation specialists, a team of professional problem-solvers, are uniquely positioned to provide on-the-ground technical assistance to farmers and ranchers.
The team is made up of staff from a diverse range of backgrounds including journalism, biology, religious studies, commercial diving, and much more, but most importantly, they have all been farmers. In New England, our growing team of implementation specialists has provided direct assistance to over 350 farmers on more than 18,000 acres of agricultural land since 2022.