We support farmers, landowners, advisors, and local groups working together to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff to streams of the upper Mississippi River Basin.
Relevant Information For Farmers
Information for improving local stream habitats and watersheds is abundant, but often hidden, detailed, and complicated. The Partnership puts a lens on published information and technical services to help farmers easily find and understand resources relevant to their goals, land, and operations.
Credible science is the baseline for Fishers and Farmers’ guidance. Farmer and landowner experience turns science into knowledge applied in daily life.
Our goal is profitable, environmentally friendly farm operations. Every Fishers & Farmers activity, program, and funding award is measured against its potential to accomplish that goal.
Successful Farmer Leaders
With support from the McKnight Foundation we piloted the Watershed Leaders Network in 2016 and 2017. Two workshops gathered farmer-led groups in 2016 to learn from each other, practice communication skills, hear from experts, and build relationships for successful long-term work in home agricultural watersheds. Feedback will inform future programming.
Read about the activities of participating groups on locally managed pages on this website and download the Watershed Leaders Network flyer to learn more.
Funding For Farmer-Led Stream/Farm Projects
Fishers & Farmers Partnership awards funding from the National Fish Habitat Partnership-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to farmer-led projects in upper Mississippi River Basin watersheds each year. Funded projects improve farms and fish habitat, address a root cause of watershed problems, and support landowner engagement, communications, monitoring, science, or construction.
Applicants are non-government, county, state, and federal agriculture and natural resources organizations. One-to-one cost share is required. Applications are generally due in October and decisions are made in the last quarter of each year.
2016 | Hutchins Creek | Illinois
Farmers and the U.S. Forest Service -Shawnee National Forest, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Fisheries and Partners for Fish & Wildlife Programs, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and Union County SWCD, are working on streambank stabilization, a riparian buffer, and enhancing in-stream habitat and water quality for Federal and State fish and mussel species of concern
2016 | Boone River Watershed | Iowa
The Boone River Watershed Partnership includes farmers, The Nature Conservancy, Kossuth and Wright County SWCD’s, Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa DNR working together to restore stream oxbows to create habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner
2016 | Root River Watershed | Minnesota
Farmers in the Root River Field to Stream Partnership (RRFSP) are working with MN Dept. of Ag, county agencies, The Nature Conservancy, MN Ag Water Resources Center, and MN DNR to evaluate nutrient and sediment loss from the edge of fields and measure the effectiveness of conservation practices with in-stream monitoring stations in three subwatersheds
2016 | Spring Creek | Missouri
Agricultural landowners are working with Missouri Department of Conservation on livestock exclusion from streams, alternative water systems, riparian corridor habitat, reinforced stream crossings, cover crops, and managed grazing plans to improve water quality and fish habitat
2015 | Seven-Mile Creek Watershed | Minnesota
Seven Mile Creek Partnership includes farmers, Great River Greening, Nicollet Soil & Water Conservation District, and NRCS. They are installing water storage systems and bioreactors to reduce ravine erosion, sedimentation, and nutrients to creek
2015 | Boone River Watershed | Iowa
Farmers and The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa DNR restoring stream oxbows to create habitat for endangered Topeka shiner
2014 | Rock Creek | Iowa
Iowa DNR and NRCS are working with a farmer to remove a low-head dam inhibiting fish movement, opening approximately 5 miles of stream habitat to fish
2014 | Peno Creek | Missouri
Technical and cost share assistance by Peno Creek Cooperative Partnership for alternative watering systems, riparian corridor tree plantings, stream fencing, and stream crossings
2014 | Kickapoo River Watershed | Wisconsin
Establish a demonstration site for best farm management practices, host landowner discussions about economic benefits of best practices, restore 30 acres tilled floodplain to permanent cover, conduct water quality monitoring
2014 | Rice Creek Watershed | Minnesota
Facilitate 3 farmer-led projects: install two water management drainage structures, strip-till 300 acres, plant cover crops on 200 acres. Conduct education activities including: on-farm demos, meetings, tours, and research activities to reach additional farmers
2014 | Big Muddy Wetlands | Illinois
Restore & enhance wetlands in swale & ridge topography, restore water holding capability in an oxbow lake/button bush marsh along Big Muddy River
2014 | FFP Science Team | All 5 States
Hire coordinator to locally, regionally, nationally demonstrate science-driven development of fish habitat conservation and restoration strategies
2014 | Stakeholder Engagement – Public Farm Events | All 5 States
Public outreach and engaging farmers in project demonstrations and farmer-led committee assembly (Funding from Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
2013 | Bourbeuse / Meramec Rivers | Missouri
Farmers and Missouri Department of Conservation implementing managed grazing to add value to farms and reduce sedimentation, nutrient loading & stream bank instability
2013 | Boone River Watershed | Iowa
Farmers and Iowa Soybean Association, The Nature Conservancy, and Iowa DNR restoring stream oxbows to create habitat for endangered Topeka shiner
2013 | Engaging Landowners Workshops | All 5 states
Landowner engagement workshops led by Missouri Department of Conservation for federal/state/county/NGO staff in 5-state area (Funding from Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
2012 | Seven-Mile Creek Watershed | Minnesota
Farmers and Nicollet Soil & Water Conservation District, NRCS, Great River Greening, and Minnesota DNR installing sediment control structures and other practices to reduce ravine erosion, sedimentation, and nutrients to creek
2012 | Rush/Pine Watershed | Minnesota
Support for 40-member farmer-led council, 2 sub-watershed groups, and cover crop program to address water quality and fish habitat issues
2011 | Boone River Watershed | Iowa
Farmers and Iowa DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association, and County SWCDs are restoring stream oxbows to create habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner
Fishers & Farmers Partnership Strategic Plan
Awarded projects are selected to achieve goals outlined in Fishers & Farmers Partnership’s Strategic Plan. The plan is updated every three years by the steering committee.