National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces $7.4 Million in Third Round of Grants Made through the Southern Plains Grassland Program

Fifteen grants were awarded to improve grassland health, support biodiversity and increase carbon sequestration to improve climate resilience


Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2024) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $7.4 million in grants to improve grassland health, support biodiversity and increase resilience in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The 15 grants awarded will generate more than $9.7 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $17.1 million.

The grants were awarded through the Southern Plains Grasslands Program, a partnership with Burger King, Cargill and Sysco, with additional support from Walmart Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

“The Southern Great Plains host a diverse assembly of species uniquely adapted to thrive in this grassland ecosystem,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “By collaborating with a diverse suite of partners, we aim to boost the vitality of this region to benefit both wildlife and ranching communities.” 

These 15 grants will contribute to the goals of the Southern Plains Grassland Program by:

  • Improving grazing management on 483,000 acres of tribal lands and private ranches
  • Restoring 567,000 acres of upland and grassland habitat
  • Removing or improving 12 miles of fencing to wildlife-friendly specifications
  • Increasing regional capacity through technical assistance to producers

“As a major global beef purchaser and distributor, Sysco is proud to continue to support this partnership to drive positive environmental and social impacts in the beef supply chain,” says Neil Russell, Sysco’s Chief Administrative Officer. “The Southern Plains Grassland Program is a great example of how Sysco is investing in regenerative practices to restore the grassland ecosystem and increase its ability to store carbon while improving soil health and biodiversity.”

The Southern Plains Grassland Program works closely with nonprofit and government partners and the ranching community to bring important financial and technical resources to address the health and resilience of the grasslands of the Southern Great Plains. These actions will increase the vitality of this often-overlooked ecosystem, providing benefits to wildlife and to rural, ranching-based communities. In addition, these actions increase the ability of grasslands to sequester and store carbon, providing key benefits to much larger efforts to address climate change.

A complete list of the 2024 grants made through the Southern Plains Grasslands Program 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 6,800 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of more than $10 billion. NFWF is an equal opportunity provider. Learn more at

About the Natural Resources Conservation Service 
Since 1935, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has helped America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources. NRCS provides technical assistance based on sound science and offers financial assistance for many conservation activities.

Founded in 1954, the Burger King® brand is a global quick service hamburger chain known for food quality and value and as the only place guests can get the iconic flame-grilled Whopper® sandwich. The Burger King system operates more than 19,000 locations in more than 120 countries and U.S. territories. Nearly all Burger King® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about the Burger King brand, please visit the official brand website at or the newsroom at, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok. 

About Cargill
Cargill is committed to providing food, ingredients, agricultural solutions, and industrial products to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Sitting at the heart of the supply chain, we partner with farmers and customers to source, make and deliver products that are vital for living. Our 160,000 team members innovate with purpose, providing customers with life’s essentials so businesses can grow, communities prosper, and consumers live well. With 159 years of experience as a family company, we look ahead while remaining true to our values. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing—today and for generations to come. For more information, visit and our News Center.

About Sysco
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. With more than 74,000 colleagues, the company operates 334 distribution facilities worldwide and serves approximately 725,000 customer locations. For fiscal year 2023 that ended July 1, 2023, the company generated sales of more than $76 billion. Information about our Sustainability program, including Sysco’s 2022 Sustainability Report and 2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report, can be found at



Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,