Our Work

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.

Successful Farming

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.

Funded Projects

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.