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First Call for Producer Led Watershed Protection Projects
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/23/2016

Groups of Wisconsin farmers can apply for the first round of Producer Led Watershed Protection grants in a new program that aims to address soil and water issues with homegrown answers. The Department of Agriculture will award grants to producer led groups that focus on ways to prevent and reduce runoff from farm fields, and work to increase farmer participation in these voluntary efforts.

Each group is eligible for up to $20,000 a year, with a total of $250,000 available in each of the next two years.

"The Governor included this initiative in the 2015-17 budget to support farmers in their conservation efforts," said State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel. "This program is designed to give financial support to farmers who are willing to take leadership roles in their watershed and to work collaboratively to address water quality issues."

Applicants must be groups of at least five farmers whose farms are in the same watershed and each produced at least $6,000 in gross farm revenue last year, or $18,000 in the past three years. They must work with DATCP, the Department of Natural Resources, a county land conservation committee, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, or a nonprofit conservation organization. The group must help other producers in the watershed voluntarily work to reduce runoff pollution from farm fields, and contribute matching funds at least equal to the grant request.

Applications will be accepted between February 29 and April 1. For more information, call 608-224-4622.

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