CRES recently endorsed the bipartisan, bicameral Increased TSP Access Act, legislation that would enhance climate-smart agriculture practices and address the nationwide technical service provider (TSP) shortage. The bill expands upon framework in the 2018 Farm Bill and builds upon progress made with the Growing Climate Solutions Act directs USDA to establish a process to approve non-Federal certifying entities within 180 days of enactment. House Agriculture Conservation, Research, and Biotechnology Subcommittee Chairman Jim Baird (IN-04), Ranking Member Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Michael Bennet (D- CO) introduced the bill, which directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a process to approve non-federal entities within 180 days of enactment.
CRES has joined with many leading agriculture and climate-centric organizations in endorsing this legislation.
“America’s farmers and ranchers are excellent stewards of our lands and have great potential to be influential in the fight against climate change,” said CRES President Heather Reams. “The Increased TSP Access Act will build upon successful efforts in the last Congress—by passing the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act—to streamline and increase access to critical conservation programs to help our producers successfully implement climate-smart practices on their farms. CRES applauds this bipartisan and bicameral effort, and we look forward to working to ensure American agriculture can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
The Increased TSP Access Act would:
- Non-Federal Certifying Entities: The bill directs USDA to establish a process to approve non-federal certifying entities within 180 days of enactment. The bill ensures that USDA’s process will allow agricultural retailers, conservation organizations, cooperatives, professional societies, and service providers to become certifying entities. It also puts clear deadlines on USDA to ensure responsiveness in administering the program.
- Streamlined Certification: The bill directs USDA to establish a streamlined certification process for TSPs who hold appropriate specialty certifications (including certified crop advisors) within 180 days of enactment. This guarantees that applicants with other certifications aren’t burdened with duplicative training, but are still trained in the competencies needed to serve as a TSP.
- Parity in Compensation: The bill ensures that TSPs—who are often paid using conservation program dollars—are paid the fair market rate for their services.
To learn more about the Increased TSP Access Act click here.