NFWF Announces $6.9 Million in Grants to Support Conservation Practices on Agricultural Lands
Twenty-four projects will help farmers and ranchers adopt economically beneficial practices that improve wildlife habitat, soil health, carbon storage and water quality
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 9, 2022) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $6.9 million in new grants to help agricultural producers implement voluntary conservation practices on farms and ranches across the United States. Awarded under NFWF’s Conservation Partners Program, the grants will leverage $8.1 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of $15 million.
NFWF manages the Conservation Partners Program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), General Mills, and The J.M. Smucker Co., with additional support this year from The Bezos Earth Fund. The program supports efforts to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices and regenerative agriculture principles on private working lands. Grant recipients provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to help them develop management plans, design and implement best practices, participate in Farm Bill programs, and share their experiences and lessons learned. This work enhances wildlife habitat, soil health, water quality and carbon storage while providing important social and economic benefits to agricultural producers.
“These voluntary projects and the additional technical assistance needed to deliver these projects represent a significant expansion of regenerative ranching and farming systems across the nation, producing benefits for wildlife, water and climate, in addition to improving economic returns for producers and their communities,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These far-reaching solutions are made possible by the collaborative relationships between private landowners and their partners from the state and federal agencies, tribal nations, and conservation organizations.”
The 24 grants announced today span several landscapes across the United States. For example, funded projects will address important needs for the Upper Mississippi River basin, the Southern Great Plains, Pacific salmon and western water conservation, and several priorities under the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife program. In addition, the Conservation Partners Program has added a focus in the Prairie Pothole Region, where six of the projects funded this year will help landowners develop and implement regenerative systems on 190,000 acres of cropland and ranchland.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with NFWF to give local organizations the financial support needed to assist farmers as they implement regenerative agriculture techniques,” said Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and global impact officer, General Mills. “Through this important work, we are strengthening local networks of experienced farm advisors to accelerate regenerative agriculture adoption. Farmers gain an understanding of regenerative agriculture principles and how best to apply them to their farm’s unique environmental, social and financial context. Our partnership is designed to enhance ecosystems – and ensure a positive future for both people and the planet.”
The new grant funding will help provide agricultural producers with the technical assistance needed to plan and implement a range of conservation practices such as cover crops, conservation tillage, on-farm wetland enhancement, irrigation improvement, grazing management, and prescribed burning. Collectively, the 24 funded projects will:
- Improve management and conservation on more than 2 million acres of farmland and ranchland
- Offer technical assistance to 60,000 agricultural producers
- Reduce nutrient and sediment runoff to local waterways by over 450,000 pounds per year
- Develop and implement more than 1,500 working lands management plans
“We are pleased to be a partner with NFWF to help accelerate the adoption of critical conservation practices and systems on private working lands,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “These investments not only provide producers with the technical assistance they need, but also increase resiliency and improve agricultural lands for wildlife habitat, soil health and carbon storage, and water quality while creating economic opportunities for local communities.”
Since 2011, the Conservation Partners Program has awarded 251 grants worth more than $51 million and leveraged an additional $94 million in matching contributions, generating a total conservation investment of more than $145 million. A complete list of the 2022 grants announced today through the Conservation Partners 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 and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a conservation impact of $7.4 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation’s food and fiber. NRCS helps landowners make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, and soil. NRCS also generates, manages, and shares the data, research and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science. In simpler terms, NRCS’s focus is “Helping People Help the Land.” For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
About General Mills
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale and being a force for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2021 net sales of U.S. $18.1 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.
About The J.M. Smucker Co.
Each generation of consumers leaves their mark on culture by establishing new expectations for food and the companies that make it. At The J.M. Smucker Co., it is our privilege to be at the heart of this dynamic with a diverse portfolio that appeals to each generation of people and pets and is found in nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes and countless restaurants. This includes a mix of iconic brands consumers have always loved such as Folgers®, Jif® and Milk-Bone® and new favorites like Café Bustelo®, Smucker's® Uncrustables® and Rachael Ray® Nutrish®. By continuing to immerse ourselves in consumer preferences and acting responsibly, we will continue growing our business and the positive impact we have on society. For more information, please visit www.jmsmucker.com.
The J.M. Smucker Co. is the owner of all trademarks referenced herein except for Rachael Ray®, a registered trademark of Ray Marks II LLC, which is used under license.
Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166, firstname.lastname@example.org