The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced more than $13.6 million in new grants to help agricultural producers implement voluntary conservation practices on farms across 19 states, including Michigan. The grants will generate $1.6 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $15.2 million.
The project team in Michigan includes the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, the Michigan Soybean Committee, the Michigan Pork Producers Association, the Nature Conservancy in Michigan and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The aim is to accelerate wide-scale and long-term adoption of cover crops. The project goal is to increase the sustained use of cover crops on corn and soybean acres through training that addresses barriers to adoption. Financial incentives, technical assistance, and educational opportunities offered by project partners will support this goal over the four years of the grant program.
MAEAP will serve as the primary farm enrollment and technical assistance team for the project. The Nature Conservancy in Michigan will lend communication and outreach support to the project.
“We are excited to bring Farmers for Soil Health to Michigan,” said Kristin Poley, director of research and agronomy at CMPM and project lead for the grant. “This grant will support technical assistance for cover crop adoption on corn, soybean, and pork farms across 55,000 acres in Michigan. By expanding the state-wide MAEAP team of technicians and offering farmer outreach and education on cover crop adoption, participating farmers will be equipped with the tools necessary to be successful implementing cover crops on their farms.”
The grants are supported with a portion of the $95 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities to Farmers for Soil Health, a collaboration between National Corn Growers Association, United Soybean Board, National Pork Producers, and NFWF as the fiduciary partner.
The 12 grant recipients are state corn and soy commodity organizations or their designated partners. This farmer-led approach will assist farmers as they advance soil health practices, meet sustainability goals and improve profitability.
This is the first NFWF grant announcement as part of the Farmers for Soil Health partnership. NFWF is expected to award at least one more technical assistance grant in 2023. A complete list of 2023 state-level technical grants made through the Farmers for Soil Health partnership is available here.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion. Learn more at nfwf.org.
About Farmers for Soil Health
Farmers for Soil Health is a collaboration in partnership with the Soy Checkoff, Pork Checkoff and National Corn Growers Association to create a farmer-led cover crop program that advances the use of soil health practices, meets sustainability goals and improves farmer profitability. Our goal is to improve soil health by encouraging farmers to expand their adoption of cover crops to 30 million acres by 2030. For more information, visit www.FarmersforSoilHealth.com.