Through a grant from U.S. EPA’s Gulf of Mexico division, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is launching Underserved Farmer-to-Farmer subawards to increase the ability of historically underserved farm communities to address nutrient pollution, frequent flooding, and drinking water challenges.
The subawards will be issued to eligible entities who will work with farmers and farm communities that fall under at least one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s four underserved groups, which includes those who are beginning, socially disadvantaged, veterans, or have limited resources. Subawardees eligible to apply for grants include conservation districts, local or state government entities, nonprofits, tribal nations, and institutions of higher learning. Those groups will then work with the DNR to develop projects with a focus on water quality, such as flood reduction, source water protection, and nutrient reduction.
Over the next five years, the DNR will distribute $3M to eligible applicants across the state. Projects may be awarded up to $250,000 with no match requirement. “It is a worthwhile mission to seek to aid the underserved in Iowa, understand what their needs are, and meet water issues head on,” says Steven Konrady, DNR’s Western Iowa Basin Coordinator.