Wisconsin farmer groups now can apply for 2020 state watershed protection funding.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has awarded grants to producer-led watershed groups since 2015, according to a news release. The grants provide funding for methods that protect water quality and improve soil health.

Each application must consist of at least five farmers whose farms are in the same watershed. Each group is eligible for up to $40,000 a year, and each group must find or contribute matching funds at least equal to the grant request, according to the release.

Applications are due Aug. 23. The state budget provides $750,000 for watershed groups in each of the next two years.

Application materials are available online. Those with questions can contact Rachel Rushmann at rachel.rushmann@wi.gov or 608-224-4622.

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