Groups of Wisconsin farmers can now apply for the Producer-Led Watershed Protection grants for 2019. Applications are accepted through Sept. 17. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will award grants to producer-led groups that focus on ways to prevent and reduce runoff from farm fields and farmsteads.
Each group is eligible for up to $40,000 a year, with a total of $750,000 available in this round of funding. Applicants must find or contribute matching funds at least equal to the grant request. The grants are intended to help farmers find solutions best suited for their particular watersheds, based on topography, soil type, types of operations and other factors that differ among regions of the state and work to increase farmer participation in these voluntary efforts.
Applicants must be groups of at least five farmers whose farms are in the same watershed. Each farm must have produced at least $6,000 in gross farm revenue last year, or $18,000 in the past three years. Each group must partner with DATCP, the Department of Natural Resources, a county land conservation committee, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, or a nonprofit conservation organization, and work with other producers in the watershed to voluntarily reduce runoff pollution from farm operations. Grant funds cannot pay for real estate, loans, equipment purchases, out-of-state conference or travel or lobbying.
Application materials are available at datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/ProducerLedProjects.aspx. Applications are accepted only via email in Microsoft Word format. Farmers with questions should contact Rachel Rushmann at [email protected] or 608.224.4622.