April 9, 2024

Contact: Mary Juhl; mary.juhl@state.mn.us, 612-358-5733

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) awarded more than $17 million in grant funding to 39 soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) to support soil health efforts throughout the state. 

The grants will fund supplemental staffing to boost local expertise related to soil health initiatives. 

“Soil and water conservation districts play a key role in helping landowners understand and adopt soil health practices such as no-till, cover crops and rotational grazing,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said. “These grants will increase our local partners’ capacity to provide these services in their communities.”

These grants are part of a large-scale effort to work with landowners to improve soil health. BWSR received $21 million from the state’s general fund and $12 million from the Clean Water Fund during the 2023 legislative session to support soil health programming across the state. BWSR was also selected last year to receive $25 million in Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funds from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for soil health initiatives. Soil health is a priority identified in the Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework.

BWSR plans to offer grants for soil health delivery and practices later this year. This combination of state soil health grants will help support BWSR’s $25 million Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that is currently in negotiation. More information about these additional soil health initiatives will be shared in the coming months.


BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. BWSR's mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners