Background on the RC&D Program
About the RC&D Program
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.
RC&D Councils are 501(C)3 non-for-profit corporations. They are not governmental entities, so the typical policies and constraints of local, state, and federal government programs do not limit the types of issues they address or the means they use. Within their respective areas (typically covering 5-8 counties), RC&D Councils have a high degree of independence to carry out activities that will achieve their most important goals. RC&D Council volunteers are leaders and community stakeholders involved in multiple roles in local government, school boards, churches, and other civic activities. At RC&D Council meetings, they draw from their professional expertise and community connections to determine the needs of their RC&D Council areas, address those needs, and make their communities better places to live, work, and play. Nationwide, over 25,000 volunteers serve on local RC&D Councils.