About Us

We support farmer leadership and collaborative action, so farms and fish thrive together

On the map below, zoom in to see streams near your home.

The Basin...

Is drained by 12 major tributaries and 30,700 miles of streams;

Is inhabited by 30 million people, 80% of whom live in urban areas;

Is the only U.S. river system designated as both a nationally significant navigation system and a nationally significant ecosystem;

Supports more than 11 million recreational trips annually — more than most national parks, including Yellowstone;

Has a landscape that is more than 60% cropland and pasture.

Our Work

Each year Fishers & Farmers Partnership awards funds to local, farmer-driven projects in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Professionally facilitated workshops and other neighbor-to-neighbor programs bring soil health and watershed groups together to hear real-life success stories, share experiences, ask important questions, build skills, reflect and strategize as local teams. To help rural communities reach their own goals, we offer science-based agriculture and stream health resources that put a lens on published information and technical services relevant to them.

Our Approach

Shared work, flexible funding, and productive relationships between landowners, agriculture, and conservation organizations is our goal. We connect people and empower landowners to act for themselves, their communities and the greater good. As a self-directed association of non-government groups, tribal organizations, and state and federal agencies we have the freedom to listen, innovate, and act responsively.

Our activities spring from goals in Fishers & Farmers Partnership’s Strategic Plan, which is updated every three years.



Our steering committee guides partnership efforts and grant funding allocation. Participation is voluntary, fostering ownership among stakeholders. The committee reviews proposals, evaluates effectiveness, and allocates funds strategically, promoting collaboration and impactful outcomes..

Kristin Bouska, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Sherry Fischer, Missouri Department of Conservation
Brandon Iddings, Iowa Soybean Association
Ben Lubinski, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Steve Sodeman, Minnesota Corn Growers Association
Terry Spence, Producer/cattleman & founder of Citizens Legal Environmental Action Network
Craig Soupir, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Ryan Toot, U.S. Forest Service – Northeast Region
Karen Wilke, The Nature Conservancy in Iowa
Bradd Sims, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Megan Giorgenti, Iowa Department of Natural Resources



Under the direction of the steering committee staff provide support for coordination, communication, and science efforts.

Heidi Keuler, representing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, leads the Coordination team, which prioritizes building relationships with landowners, identifying key conservation areas, and offering assistance for project implementation. The team also manages Steering Committee activities, while crafting basin-wide strategies for sustainable conservation efforts while reinforcing the partnership for enduring action.

Amy Smith, from Habitat for Humanity of the Greater La Crosse Region, leads Communications, which aims to improve outreach systems and expand the impact of Fishers & Farmers initiatives. By utilizing innovative programming, digital platforms, and strategic partnerships, the team highlights landowner-led projects and encourages further efforts to conserve fish habitats and promote soil health. 

The Science Team, led by Joanna Whitter, University of Missouri, provides science-based resources for decision-making. They analyze national and regional habitat assessments and monitoring data to offer recommendations. Additionally, they develop educational materials for outreach. With members from state, federal, and non-governmental organizations, the team ensures diverse expertise. 


Petition to Join

Interested organizations may join upon request, with steering committee approval. If your group shares our vision and will contribute time, expertise, funding or other resources to improve farms and fish habitat, contact Fishers & Farmers Partnership coordinator, Heidi Keuler.


Fishers & Farmers Partnership is a member of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. This partnership has a mission to protect, restore and enhance aquatic communities in the United States through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve life for people. In the Midwest, we are aligned with four other Midwest Fish Habitat Partnerships: Trout Unlimited – Driftless Area Restoration Effort; Midwest Glacial Lakes Fish Habitat PartnershipOhio River Basin Fish Habitat PartnershipGreat Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership.