Funding

We fund farmer-driven projects that improve farms and fish habitat

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Sophisticated engineering and nature-based approaches at Jim Cottrell’s farm will stop erosion, restore fish and wildlife habitat and protect the property. Photo: Rob Pulliam/TNC

My Land Was Washing Away

Jim Cottrell raises cattle, corn and soybeans on 1250 acres southwest of St. Louis. In October 2022, on a farm his folks bought on Huzzah Creek in 1927, excavators broke ground on a big project.

“For years, it made me sick to see what was happening on that creek,” said Jim. “Stream banks were eroding. We lost a lot of ground, and there wasn’t much use fishing any more. My land was washing away.”

A mutual friend urged Cottrell to call Rob Pulliam (Missouri Department of Conservation). Jim had worked with Pulliam before, and trusted him. “He needed engineering,” said Pulliam, “so I brought in Steve Herrington (The Nature Conservancy) and Abigail Lambert (Ozark Land Trust). We came up with funding and a project that’s a win for everyone.”

On this sunny October afternoon, excavators on the site are cutting back banks to make room for tree root balls, logs, stone and burrito-like soil lifts designed to hold their own when water rises. After the banks are reshaped, native grasses and forbs will be planted and later harvested.

Said Lambert, “Rob and the Shoal Creek Woodlands for Wildlife farmer-led committee primed the pump by listening, showing what can be done, and bringing in partners like Fishers & Farmers to fit pieces together across the watershed.”

The watershed was named one of 10 Waters To Watch by the National Fish Habitat Partnership in 2022.

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Funding For Stream/Farm Projects

Fishers & Farmers Partnership awards National Fish Habitat Partnership funding to locally-led projects in upper Mississippi River Basin watersheds each year. Funded projects improve farms and fish habitat; address a root cause of watershed problems; support landowner engagement, communications, monitoring, science, or construction; and align with our Strategic Plan. Non-government, county, state or federal agriculture and natural resources organizations may apply. One-to-one cost share is required. Applications are available in the last quarter of the year, due in February. Decisions are made in March.

If you have a project in mind, we encourage you to reach out to a Fishers & Farmers Partnership steering committee member or our coordinator Heidi Keuler for an informal conversation. We want local teams to meet their goals, and we can advise about project design, resources, and our selection criteria.

STRIPS VSN John Delaney

Funded Projects

Year Funded:
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
Other Filters:
  • Coordination & communication
  • Dam removal
  • Managed grazing
  • Monitoring & data
  • Nutrient retention
  • Outreach & demonstrations
  • Peer-to-peer learning & mentoring
  • Perennial cover & buffers
  • Soil health & cover crops
  • Stream & wetland restoration
  • Water retention & sediment control

2022 | Fishers & Farmers Coordination, Science & Communications Teams

Fishers & Farmers Partnership is funding coordination, communications and science positions.

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2022 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Boone River Watershed Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Rivers Revival, Iowa Soybean Association and Wright SWCD are restoring oxbows to create Topeka shiner spawning habitat in Boone River watershed.

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2022 | Seven Mile Creek Watershed

Farmers, Great River Greening and Nicollet SWCD are hosting field days, community events, demonstrations and discussions to advance cover crops, crop rotation and data collection showing results of conservation practices.

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2022 | Le Sueur River Watershed

Farmers, UM-Mankato Water Resources Center and Waseca SWCD are advancing soil health and cover crop adoption in Le Sueur River Watershed including funds, mentoring and technical advice.

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2022 | Soil Regeneration

Farmers, Izaak Walton League, agencies and ag service providers are advancing farming systems to restore soil health in Minnesota, including education, events, forums, interviews, workshops, tours and demonstration plots.

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2022 | Bridge to Soil Health

Land Stewardship Project’s Bridge to Soil Health program is scaling-up the number of crop & livestock farmers who are restoring soil and talking publicly about resulting financial and environmental benefits.

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2021 | Vermillion-Illinois Watersheds

Farmers, The Wetlands Initiative, NRCS, USFWS, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Illinois Corn Growers, University of Illinois, McKnight Foundation and others are advancing use of small tile-treatment wetlands on row-crop farms.

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2021 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Boone River Watershed Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Rivers Revival, Iowa Soybean Association and Wright SWCD are restoring oxbows to create Topeka shiner spawning habitat in Boone River watershed.

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2021 | Cannon River Watershed

Farmers, Clean River Partners, Rice SWCD, St. Olaf College, MPCA, Minnesota DNR and McKnight Foundation are expanding cover cropping in Heath, Rice and Wolf Creek watersheds, including farmer-to-farmer and farmer-to-student learning.

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2021 | Kickapoo & Bad Axe Watersheds

Valley Stewardship Network, Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council, West Fork Watershed Neighbors Council, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Madison, UW-LaCrosse, Wisconsin DNR, City of Viroqua and Viroqua FFA are building watershed councils, STRIPS, and FFA regenerative ag activity.

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2020 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Boone River Watershed Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Rivers Revival, Iowa Soybean Association and Wright SWCD are restoring oxbows to create Topeka shiner spawning habitat in Boone River watershed.

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2020 | Relay Cropping & Replicated Strip Trials

Farmers, Iowa Soybean Association and Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development are implementing relay cropping and replicated strip trials to evaluate for yield and environmental impact, and facilitating dialogue among farmers.

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2020 | Fishers & Farmers Communication Team

FFP communications is hosting workshops; Boots on the Ground, a monthly online conversation; and a radio/podcast with TheFarmWI.com, and is contributing to development of Midwest Watershed Training Center.

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2020 | Mower County Soil & Water Conservation District

Farmers, Mower SWCD, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, a consultant and others in Root River Field to Stream Partnership are demonstrating and communicating about Prairie Strips on 10-20 targeted sites.

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2020 | Monroe County Land Conservation Department

Farmers, landowners, Monroe County Land Conservation and Trout Unlimited are innovating to monitor effectiveness of streambank restoration practices before and after storms, to enhance floodplains, flow regimes and connectivity.

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2019 | Bad Axe & Kickapoo Rivers

Valley Stewardship Network is supporting four landowner-led watershed councils and demonstrating best management practices on upland and riparian farmland in two major watersheds.

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2019 | Rice Creek & Cannon River Watersheds

Farmers are planting cover crops for 3 consecutive years and Clean River Partners, St. Olaf College and Minnesota DNR are coordinating, monitoring and conducting a fish count to show impacts.

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2018 | Fishers & Farmers Communications & Science Teams

FFP GIS/science/outreach staff are communicating fish habitat conservation strategies that benefit UMRB streams, informing strategic habitat conservation plans, monitoring social drivers and engaging people in conservation.

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2018 | Boone River Watershed

Boone River Watershed Partnership farmers, The Nature Conservancy, Kossuth and Wright SWCDs, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa DNR are restoring stream oxbows to create habitat for endangered Topeka shiner minnows.

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2018 | Tainter & Conway Creeks

Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Council, Valley Stewardship Network, Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin DNR and NRCS are stabilizing a mile+ of eroding banks and creating in-stream fish habitat on Tainter and Conway creeks.

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2018 | Rice Creek – Cannon River Watershed

Farmers are planting cover crops on 1,000 of 3,469 tillable acres in Rice Creek watershed for 3 consecutive years. Monitoring and a fish count will show impacts.

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2017 | Kickapoo River Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network is creating the first farmer-led Iowa State University Science-based STRIPS (Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) demonstration and farmer-to-farmer education site in Wisconsin.

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2017 | Peno Creek Watershed

Missouri Department of Conservation, NRCS and others are providing technical and cost share assistance to Peno Creek Cooperative Partnership for watering systems, riparian corridor tree plantings, stream fencing and stream crossings.

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2017 | Boone River Watershed

Boone River Watershed Partnership farmers, The Nature Conservancy, Kossuth and Wright SWCDs, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa DNR are restoring stream oxbows to create habitat for endangered Topeka shiner minnows.

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2017 | Shoal Creek Watershed

Farmers, Shoal Creek Woodlands for Wildlife Partnership and Ozark Land Trust are implementing a Marketing Action Plan to increase infiltration, improve stream channel habitat and reduce sediment and nutrient loading.

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2017 | Galena River Watershed

Building on extensive county-wide planning, Jo-Daviess Soil and Water Health Coalition farmers and local partners are hosting workshops and facilitated discussions to establish consensus and active participation in watershed restoration.

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2017 | Rock Creek Watershed

Project partners are removing/modifying low head dams that inhibit fish movement, enhancing fish habitat and building stream crossings for farmland access to protect 32 fish species near Osage, IA.

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2017 | Fishers & Farmers Science & Communications Teams

FFP GIS/science/outreach staff are communicating fish habitat conservation strategies that benefit UMRB streams/rivers, informing strategic habitat conservation plans and engaging people in conservation action.

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2016 | Hutchins Creek Watershed

Farmers, USFS, USFWS, Partners for Fish & Wildlife, Illinois Department of Agriculture and Union SWCD are stabilizing streambanks, constructing riparian buffers and enhancing habitat for fish and mussel species of concern.

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2016 | Boone River Watershed

Boone River Watershed Partnership farmers, TNC, Kossuth and Wright County SWCDs, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa DNR are restoring stream oxbow habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner minnow.

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2016 | Root River Watershed

Root River Field to Stream Partnership farmers, MN Department of Agriculture, county agencies, TNC, MN Ag Water Resources Center and MN DNR are evaluating nutrient and sediment loss and conservation effectiveness with field-edge and in-stream monitoring.

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2016 | Spring Creek Watershed

Farmers and Missouri Department of Conservation are installing alternative water systems, riparian fencing and reinforced stream crossings, restoring riparian corridors, developing managed grazing plans and planting cover crops to improve fish habitat.

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2015 | Seven-Mile Creek Watershed

Seven Mile Creek Watershed Partnership (farmers, Great River Greening, Nicollet SWCD and NRCS) is installing water storage systems and bioreactors to reduce ravine erosion, sedimentation and nutrient runoff to the creek.

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2015 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Iowa DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association and county SWCDs are restoring stream oxbows to reduce nutrient runoff and create habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner minnow.

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2014 | Fishers & Farmers Outreach & Communications

FFP is communicating to engage farmers in project demonstrations and farmer-led committee assembly.

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2014 | Rock Creek Watershed

Iowa DNR and NRCS are working with a farmer to remove a low-head dam inhibiting fish movement, opening approximately five miles of stream habitat to fish.

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2014 | Peno Creek Watershed

Missouri Department of Conservation, NRCS and others are providing technical and cost share assistance to Peno Creek Cooperative Partnership for watering systems, riparian corridor tree plantings, stream fencing and stream crossings.

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2014 | Kickapoo River Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network is establishing a demonstration site, hosting landowner discussions about economic benefits of best farm management practices, restoring 30 acres of tilled floodplain and conducting water quality monitoring.

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2014 | Rice Creek Watershed

Clean River Partners is facilitating three farmer-led projects (installation of two water management drainage structures, 300 acres strip-till, 200 acres cover crops) with integrated on-farm demos, meetings, tours and research.

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2014 | Big Muddy Wetlands

Landowners and US Forest Service are enhancing wetlands in swale and ridge topography and increasing water holding capability in an oxbow lake/button bush marsh along Big Muddy River.

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2014 | FFP Science Team

FFP is hiring a coordinator to demonstrate science-driven development of fish habitat conservation and restoration strategies locally, regionally and nationally.

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2013 | Bourbeuse / Meramec River Watershed

Farmers and Missouri Department of Conservation are implementing managed grazing to add value to farms and reduce sedimentation, nutrient loading & streambank instability.

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2013 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Iowa DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association and county SWCDs are restoring stream oxbows to reduce nutrient runoff and create habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner minnow.

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2013 | Engaging Landowners Workshops

Missouri Department of Conservation is leading landowner engagement workshops for federal/state/county/NGO staff in a five-state area.

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2012 | Rush/Pine Watershed

A 40-member farmer-led council, two sub-watershed groups, and cover crop program are addressing water quality and fish habitat issues.

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2012 | Seven-Mile Creek Watershed

Farmers, Nicollet Soil & Water Conservation District, NRCS, Great River Greening and Minnesota DNR are installing sediment control structures and other practices to reduce ravine erosion, sedimentation and nutrient loss.

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2011 | Boone River Watershed

Farmers, Iowa DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association and county SWCDs are restoring stream oxbows to reduce nutrient runoff and create habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner minnow.

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