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PLATTEVILLE - Pecatonica Pride Producer-led Watershed Association is pleased to announce that a minimum of 10 property owners will receive up to $500 towards implementation of a project that will benefit the Lower East Branch of the Pecatonica River or one of its tributaries.

Pecatonica Pride is a collaboration of community groups, farmers, fishers, landowners and river lovers working together to improve and promote the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River and its trout streams located between Blanchardville and Argyle, Wisconsin.

All residents and businesses located in the watershed contribute to the health or the degradation of the Pecatonica River. Everybody can do their part in making it healthier by reducing runoff through infiltration, eliminating soil erosion, reducing the use of chemicals, cleaning up spills, and being careful about what gets washed off of open spaces, parking lots, roads and driveways.

This mini grant program is available only to producers on eligible farms. Producers in the targeted watershed may apply for mini grant funding to be used for equipment use, materials or labor associated with a conservation project or practice that will be completed in 2017.

Applications are being accepted now through July 7 and are expected to be awarded by July 15, 2017.

Funding is provided by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and therefore, mini grants for this round may only go to Producers on eligible farms defined by DATCP as “a farm that produced at least $6,000 in gross farm revenues during the taxable year or a total of at least $18,000 in gross farm revenues during 3 taxable years.

However, organizations or individuals wishing to contribute to future mini-grant funds aimed at producers and non-producers are welcome and should contact Kriss Marion or Wendy Warren for more information.

Southwest Badger RC&D is a non-profit seeking to implement conservation practices that also increase revenue and improve economic development. It will manage the mini grant awards.

The application consists of a form with fifteen easy questions. The application deadline is June 20, 2017.

Projects to be funded must be within the East Branch of the Pecatonica watershed. Producers should check the map (available with the application form) if unsure.

Points will be awarded based on the effectiveness of the proposed practice and what impacts it will have on water resources within the Lower East Branch of the Pecatonica watershed. Additional points will be awarded for creative and innovative project ideas that would not normally be eligible for USDA cost share funding.

New ways to implement cost effective practices that can be easily replicated by other landowners will also be given additional consideration.

Application forms and watershed map will be available on the Pecatonica Pride Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pecatonicapride/ or by e-mailing Wendy.warren@swbadger.org. 

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