Suwannee River

Sustainable Farming Fund

The Sustainable Farming Fund provides grants to farmers in the Suwannee River Basin to implement sustainable farming practices. The focus of the fund is on-farm projects designed to improve surface and groundwater quality.

The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience has been named as administrator for the Sustainable Farming Fund established by a consent decree and funded in the initial amount of $1.3 million. The general purpose of the fund is to promote sustainable farming within the Suwannee River Basin. Stetson received the payment in February 2018 and the fund was established.

The USDA defines sustainable agriculture as:

Sustainable agriculture is an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long-term:

  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers/ranchers and society as a whole.

Private farmers within the Suwannee River Basin are invited to submit a proposal for grant funds to reduce nutrients in our groundwater and springs.

2018 Grant Awards

Ease Land Organic Farms
Establish processes and practices for converting manure to nitrogen-rich compost that will positively affect groundwater by allowing farmers to cut back on excessive fertilizer use while also cleaning up potentially polluting animal waste.

T&T Hay Farms
Purchase pasture drag and field renovator equipment to spread manure evenly over fields.

Clifford and Angela Starling
Utilize perennial peanut in a crop rotation system to reduce nitrogen leachate.

Suwannee County Conservation District
Support a 5-year cover crop pilot project over 10 private farms.

3 Rivers Cattle
Purchase side dressing equipment and implementation of crop rotation system.

Future Farmers of America, Suwannee County High School
Fund a nitrogen leachate reduction pilot educational project.

2020 Grant Information