Grants and Funding

Becoming a better of your steward of your land and public water is an investment. And while we hope the investment will more than pay for itself in the years to come, many operators will benefit from some upfront assistance getting conservation practices in place.

The various members of the Farmer-Led Watershed Conservation Network offer a wide range of programs that offer financial and technical assistance to farmers who want to do their part. Please contact us to discuss the following options and we'll help you figure out which of these might be right for you. 

What is the Michigan Climate Smart Farm Project (MCSFP)? 

MCSFP will develop and launch a Climate Smart Farm Verification (CSFV) system, based on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), designed to assist small/diversified farms in Washtenaw, Monroe, Wayne and Lenawee Counties. Farmers interested in participating in the CSFV pilot will be eligible for cost-share payments for climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices implemented with a goal of attaining CSFV. Verified farms will be able to utilize the newly developed CSF branding package and logo in order to market their commodities as Climate Smart Farm Verified. A final report on the CSFV system and findings will be presented to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) with the goal of becoming part of the MAEAP program or a stand-alone program.  

They're currently looking for:

Michigan State University Institute of Water Research

Everywhere We Work: Natural Resources Conservation Service

Your local county conservation district partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to offer both technical assistance and funding to producers to to improve their soil health, reduce their cost of inputs, and reduce nutrient loss into waterways. 

Conservation Planning:

​A conservation plan is a road map of resource concerns on your farm as well as a plan for strategies to address those concerns. All financial assistance through NRCS requires a completed conservation plan after submitting an application.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):  

​The EQIP program can help cover producers' costs for over 200 conservation practices -- everything from cover crops and seasonal high tunnels to erecting livestock fencing. Farmers must have an NRCS-approved conservation plan in place to be eligible for this program. -- More --

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):

​The CSP program is designed for producers that have already implemented conservation practices on the land and want to go even further. CSP contracts are typically longer than EQIP. -- More --

Farmers must have an NRCS-approved conservation plan in place to be eligible for this program. 

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements. -- More --

Everywhere We Work: Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program

The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) offers assistance and recognition to farmers who reduce erosion and runoff from private land into public waters. We teach effective land stewardship practices that comply with state and federal regulations and show producers how to identify and prevent agricultural pollution risks on their farms. 

This program is free, voluntary, and non-regulatory. Everything MAEAP Technicians learn about your farm is 100% confidential. MAEAP Technicians are local Conservation District employees whom you can trust. Even if a MAEAP Technician sees a potential “violation”, they cannot report it to regulatory agencies. This is guaranteed by state law.

MAEAP partner organizations offer incentives after producers become verified in the program:

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Lenawee County

The Lenawee Conservation District offers the following assistance programs:

Erosion Control Assistance. This program helps farmers deal with gullies and concentrated flow erosion. This program can help cover up to 70% of the cost to install grass waterways, erosion control structures, and water and sediment control basins.

Nutrient Management Assistance. This program helps farmers acquire and use new technology that reduces the need to apply phosphorus and nitrogen to cropland. Farmers can use these funds to acquire yield monitors, hydraulic down pressure, electric drives, variable rate applicators, GPS, nitrogen applicators, strip-till equipment, cover crops, and no-till combos, etc.

Best Management Practice Assistance. Any on-farm practices that help farmers reduce phosphorous application or runoff may be eligible for financial support.

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Monroe County

Truax No-Till Grass Drill Grant Program

The Monroe Conservation District, in partnership with the Michigan DNR, offers short-term rental agreements for a Truax No-Till Grass Drill. 

Learn More

Jackson County

The Jackson County Conservation District offers the following assistance programs:

Learn more!