Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week announced the State Soil Conservation Comm­­ittee Research and Dem­on­stra­tion Fund has assistance available for research, education or demonstration projects focused on reducing non-point source pollution. 

Funds are available to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, soil and water conservation districts and educators. Applications must be submitted to the State Soil Conservation Committee by May 19.

"Projects should be focused on sustaining and improving the environmental quality of our soil and water," Northey said. "We all recognize that we still have a lot to learn about protecting and improving our soils and water, and these funds are targeted toward projects that will improve their sustainability."

Successful projects should be focused on sustaining and improving environmental quality or the natural resource base on which agriculture depends. Applications should also explain how the projects would enhance the quality of life for farmers, rural communities and society as a whole.

"We are looking for projects that help us continue toward our mission of better soil conservation and water quality protection," said Dale Farnham, chairperson of the State Soil Conservation Committee.

The funding level for the grant program is established by the State Soil Conservation Committee, and it is anticipated that $150,000 will be available this year. Individual grants cannot exceed $50,000 total over a three-year period.

More information about applying for assistance can be found at and then click on "Conservation" at the top of the page. Interested applicants can also contact Jim Gillespie with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at 515-281-5851 or