Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announced that the Iowa’s Soil Conservation Committee Research and Demonstration Fund has assistance available to support research or education/demonstration projects that explore sustainable agriculture and projects focused on reducing nonpoint pollution.

Funds are available to collaborative teams of farmers, scientists, institutions, soil and water conservation districts and educators. Applications must be submitted to the Iowa Soil Conservation Committee by April 3, 2013, and funding decisions will be made in July.

“These funds are designed to help generate new techniques and conservation practices that can help landowners as they continue their work to better protect our soil and water,” Northey says. “Landowners have many conservation tools available and this program is designed to help generate even more practices to reduce erosion and protect water quality.”

Proposals must address issues of nonpoint pollution control. Successful projects should be focused on sustaining and improving environmental quality or the natural resource base on which agriculture depends. Applications also should explain how the project would enhance the quality of life for farmers, rural communities and society as a whole.

 

 

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Proposals should clearly explain expected outcomes for the project and how they will assist in working toward these objectives, how project outcomes will be evaluated and the impact of projects.

“We are looking for projects that make a contribution to the greater good and help us continue toward our goal of better soil and water protection,” saysJean Eells, a State Soil Conservation Committee member.

The funding level for the grant program is established by the State Soil Conservation Committee and it is anticipated that $250,000 will be available this year. Individual grants cannot exceed $75,000 total over a two-year period. Support for these projects comes from Iowa’s Environment First Fund.

More information about applying for assistance can be found at www.IowaAgriculture.gov , by selecting“Conservation” from the menu at the top of the page. Interested applicants can alsocontact Tarrita Spicer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5851 or email Tarrita.spicer@iowaagriculture.gov.

 

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