DES MOINES ? Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced the State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee Research and Demonstration Fund has assistance available for research, education or demonstration projects focused on reducing erosion and improving water quality. 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 and Water Quality Committee by May 20, 2018. A July 1 start date for selected projects is anticipated.
?New conservation tools and a better understanding of how different practices impact our soil and water are critically important to achieving the conservation goals we all share. These funds support projects focused on developing these new tools and educating farmers about how they can fit them into their operation,? Naig said.
Successful projects should be focused on sustaining and improving environmental quality of 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.
Funding level for the grant program is established by the State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee. It is anticipated that $150,000 will be available this year. Individual grants cannot exceed a total of $50,000 over a three-year period.
More information about applying for assistance can be found at www.IowaAgriculture.gov and then click on ?Conservation? on the middle of the page. Interested applicants can also contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship?s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at 515-281-5851.
The State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee has operated this program for several years and there are currently 14 active grant projects. More information about the Committee can be found at https://www.iowaagriculture.gov/soilConservationCommittee.asp.