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Grants Available to Help Kentucky Farmers Improve, Protect Water
Kentucky Ag Connection - 03/16/2023

Entities serving Kentucky farmers could be eligible for grants to prevent or reduce water pollution, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced.

The pre-application period for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation-EPA Historically Underserved Farmers Grant is open. The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to assist underserved farmers protect and improve water quality and habitat, while also providing benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.

“By nature, agriculture producers are interested in keeping clean the waters that support their local communities and provide for their crops and livestock,” Commissioner Quarles said. “These grants provide the financial backing to achieve these goals for local farmers.”

The NASDA Foundation was awarded $3 million in cooperative agreement funding by the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Division. The Foundation expects to award up to 16 sub-awards to organizations in the EPA’s Ohio-Tennessee Region, which Kentucky is included, to help underserved farmers improve water quality, habitat resilience, and information exchange to benefit Gulf of Mexico Watershed ecosystems. Awards are expected to range from $75,000 to $225,000 in total funds with a duration of one to three years. The pre-application period will run through April 15.

The following organizations and groups are encouraged to apply: beginning farmer organizations, conservation districts, institutions of higher learning, local/state government agencies, non-government organizations and non-profit organizations with influence on underserved farmers, tribal nations, and veteran farmer/rancher groups.

“It is outstanding to see the state departments of agriculture collaborating with local organizations to communicate this opportunity to underserved farm communities,” NASDA Foundation Senior Director Chris Jones said. “I am excited about the continued partnerships these grants will help foster, the improvement of the Gulf of Mexico Watershed ecosystem, and the impact these projects will have on future generations.”

Applicants will be notified in May 2023 if they are invited to complete the full application. Successful sub-awardees will be notified in July and projects will begin in August.

For more information and to access the application portal, please visit Technical assistance questions can be directed to the NASDA Foundation at or (571) 418-6426.

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