Wisconsin awards $750,000 in producer-led watershed grants

Wisconsin has awarded more than 750-thousand dollars to the state’s farmer-led watershed groups.  Twenty-seven groups including three first-time recipients will use the money to help farmers address soil and water issues specific to their local conditions.

The 2020 grants range from just over $7,500 to $40,000 for conservation practice incentives, education and outreach, water quality testing and monitoring efforts.  They are administered by the Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection.  The 2020 program requests topped a million dollars.

This is the fifth round of grant awards since the 2015-17 state budget. Now, the state will budget $750,000 for producer-led projects automatically in future state budgets.

Program funds cannot pay for real estate, loans, equipment, or lobbying, and producer-led groups must include at least five farmers.  They also must work with the Department of Natural Resources, a county land conservation committee, UW-Extension, or a nonprofit conservation organization. and the program places caps on the amount of funding that can be used for staff support to the groups.

Farmer-led watershed groups receiving 2020 funding include:

First-time grant recipients:

  • Sauk Soil and Water Improvement Group, $40,000
  • Bear Creek/Chippewa Farmer Groundwater Group, $39,815
  • Calumet County Agricultural Stewardship Alliance, $7,500

Previously funded projects receiving new grants:

  • Buffalo-Trempealeau Farmer Network: $25,000
  • Cedar Creek Farmers – Improving Land for Cleaner Waters: $25,000
  • Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil & Healthy Water: $39,705
  • Farmers for Lake Country: $19,630
  • Farmers for the Upper Sugar River: $38,800
  • Farmers for Tomorrow: $40,000
  • Farmers of Barron County: $20,000
  • Farmers of Mill Creek: $40,000
  • Farmers of the Sugar River: $35,000
  • Hay River Farmer-Led Watershed Council: $10,000
  • Horse Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council: $15,000
  • Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA): $20,000
  • Milwaukee River Watershed Clean Farm Families (CFF) : $40,000
  • Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF): $10,000
  • Producers of Lake Redstone: $20,000
  • Red Cedar Conservation Farmers: $40,000
  • Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers: $35,000
  • South Kinni Farmer-Led Watershed Council: $10,000
  • Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council: $40,000
  • The Shell Lake – Yellow River Farmer-Led Watershed Council: $17,500
  • Uplands Watershed Group: $17,000
  • Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County: $40,000
  • Western Wisconsin Conservation Council: $40,000
  • Yahara pride Farms: $25,000

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