NFWF Announces $10.2 Million in Grants to Cultivate Conservation Practices on Agricultural Lands

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Seventeen projects will help farmers and ranchers adopt economically beneficial practices that sequester carbon and improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $10.2 million in new grants to help agricultural producers implement voluntary conservation practices on farms and ranches across 14 states. The grants will leverage more than $4.9 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $15.1 million.

The grants were awarded through the Conservation Partners Program, a partnership between NFWF, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Cargill, The J.M. Smucker Co., Nestlé, and additional support from a collaboration among General Mills, Walmart and Sam’s Club.

“These awards will advance technical assistance and foster collaboration with agricultural producers critical to iconic landscapes across 14 states,” said Jeff Trandahl, CEO and executive director of NFWF. “Our private-public partnership is proud to support the community partners building resources and relationships, not only to sustain agricultural operations but to conserve the nation’s natural resources and wildlife for future generations.”

The program awards competitive grants to accelerate the adoption of voluntary conservation practices and regenerative agriculture principles on private working lands and to support enrollment in Farm Bill conservation programs.

“We are pleased to partner with NFWF and the Conservation Partners Program on these strategic investments to increase the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices on working lands,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “These efforts will strengthen the delivery of technical assistance to American farmers and ranchers to build soil health, sequester carbon, and improve water quality to sustain economic opportunities for their communities.”

“The projects funded through the Conservation Partners Program align with our goals,” said Will Meeks, Midwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Funding and support for technical assistance is an urgent need. This work will help us improve water quality and wildlife habitat throughout the Midwest and the Great Lakes basin. We are proud to continue our work with NFWF and the program to carry out our mission.”

Funded projects will address resource concerns in the Great Lakes Basin, Prairie Pothole Region, Southern Great Plains and Upper Mississippi River Basin by providing technical assistance to implement a range of conservation practices such as cover crops, conservation tillage, on-farm wetland enhancement, irrigation improvement, grazing management and prescribed burning. The projects will improve management and conservation on more than a cumulative 330,000 acres of farmland and ranchland across the United States.

“EPA is pleased to support conservation in the agricultural community through this important program with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Our shared goal of expanding regenerative agriculture will protect water quality in watersheds throughout the Great Lakes,” said Teresa Seidel, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office.

“We are proud to partner with NFWF and to support its continued work to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices that benefit agricultural lands while enhancing economic opportunities for farmers,” said Rebecca Ott, director, corporate sustainability, The J.M. Smucker Co. “In addition to the work done within our own four walls to support a healthier planet for future generations, we also actively promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in our priority ingredient supply chains. Through our work with partners like NFWF, we are focused on reducing climate impacts, supporting worker safety, improving soil health, reducing pesticide use and increasing farm resiliency.”

Since 2011, the Conservation Partners Program has awarded 301 grants worth more than $71 million and leveraged an additional $101 million in matching contributions, generating a total conservation investment of more than $172 million. A complete list of the grants announced today is available here. The next request for proposals for this program opened the week of June 10, 2024, and 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 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

About the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) coordinates U.S. efforts with Canada under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, which includes Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. GLNPO brings together federal, state, tribal, local, and industry partners under the strategic framework of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to accomplish the objectives of GLRI action plan which in turn fulfills the aims of the GLWQA. For more information about the GLRI Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) | US EPA.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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 standing 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, Totino’s, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2023 net sales of U.S. $20.1 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.0 billion.  

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 The J.M. Smucker Co. 
At The J.M. Smucker Co., it is our privilege to make food people and pets love by offering a diverse family of brands available across North America. We are proud to lead in the coffee, peanut butter, fruit spreads, frozen handheld, sweet baked goods, dog snacks and cat food categories by offering brands consumers trust for themselves and their families each day including Folgers®, Dunkin’®, Café Bustelo®, Jif®, Smucker’s® Uncrustables®, Smucker’s®, Hostess®, Voortman®, Milk-Bone® and Meow Mix®. Through our unwavering commitment to producing high quality products, operating responsibly and ethically and delivering on our Purpose, we will continue to grow our business while making a positive impact on society. For more information, please visit

The J.M. Smucker Co. is the owner of all trademarks referenced herein, except for Dunkin’®, which is a trademark of DD IP Holder LLC. The Dunkin’® brand is licensed to The J.M. Smucker Co. for packaged coffee products sold in retail channels, such as grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, e-commerce and drug stores, and in certain away from home channels. This information does not pertain to products for sale in Dunkin’® restaurants.

About Nestlé USA
Nestlé USA is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. The company’s food and beverage portfolio includes some of the most recognizable brands in the United States including Coffee mate, DiGiorno and Nestlé Toll House as well as category disruptors such as Sweet Earth, and are in nearly every home in the country. Nestlé USA also boasts the largest coffee portfolio in the U.S., including Nescafé and Nestlé Starbucks Coffee. Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food and beverage company, which has been named among “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” by Fortune magazine for twenty-five consecutive years. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Rob Blumenthal National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (202) 857-0166 [email protected] 

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