Funds available for conservation research

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced the State Soil Conservation Committee Research and Demonstration Fund has assistance available for research, education or demonstration projects focused on reducing nonpoint pollution. Funds are available to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, soil and water conservation districts and educators.

Applications must be submitted to the State Soil Conservation Committee by May 20, 2016. A July 1st start date for selected projects is anticipated.

“Projects should be focused on sustaining and improving the environmental quality of our soil. We all recognize that we still have a lot to learn about protecting and improving our soils and these funds are targeted towards projects that will improve sustainability,” Northey said.

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

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 should all be clearly explained in the application.

“We are looking for projects that help us continue towards our mission of better soil conservation and water quality protection,” said Dale Farnham, Chairperson of the State Soil Conservation Committee.

Funding level for the grant program is established by the State Soil Conservation Committee and it is anticipated that $150,000 will be available this year. Individual grants cannot exceed $50,000 total over a three year period.

More information about applying for assistance can be found at and then click on “Conservation” at the top of the page. Interested applicants can also contact Tarrita Spicer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at 515-281-5851 or

The State Soil Conservation Committee has operated this program for several years and there are currently 11 active grant projects.

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