External Resources

Resources By Category


Conservation Reserve Program

Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) pays a yearly rental payment in exchange for farmers removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and planting species that will improve environmental quality.

Agroforestry Apprenticeship Program

Savanna Institute

Savanna Institute’s Apprenticeship Program is a one-of-a-kind experience, providing technical education for aspiring agroforestry farmers through on-farm training with mentor farms. Apprentices also take online coursework and have community-building opportunities with farmers, other apprentices, and more interested in agroforestry.

Technical Service Program

Savanna Institute

Savanna Institute’s Technical Service Program helps you take advantage of resources available to plant trees on your pastures, fields, and waterways. Technical Service Providers offer one-on-one support for planning, designing, and securing financial assistance for an agroforestry system. We are able to provide technical service at no cost to you, thanks to support from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and other partners.

Expanding Agroforestry Project

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and multiple partners are launching a 5-year project to catalyze significant private investments into the agroforestry industry while increasing farmers’ incomes and delivering environmental benefits such as enhanced carbon sequestration, soil health, biodiversity and water quality.

Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program (PFW)

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program (PFW) assists landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land by restoring forest, prairie, wetland, and stream habitat. Practices include wetland restoration and enhancement and riparian reforestation.

Acer Access and Development Program

Agricultural Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Competitive grant program that promotes the domestic maple syrup industry through activities associated with research and education related to maple syrup production, natural resource sustainability in the maple syrup industry, and the marketing of maple syrup and maple-sap products. Acer also incentivizes owners and operators of privately held land containing species of trees in the genus Acer to initiate or expand maple-sugaring activities on the land or to voluntarily make the land available, including by lease or other means, for access by the public for maple-sugaring activities.

Water Quality Program

Savanna Institute

Our Water Quality Program establishes demonstration farms around the Great Lakes, and shares research and education on the potential for agroforestry systems to meet the challenge of the water crisis.

Farmers Conservation Leader Subaward Program

Wallace Center

Wallace Center’s Farmer Conservation Leader Subaward Program is a competitive subaward program for the Mississippi River Region (HUCs 07 and 08), that aims to address the diverse needs of historically underserved farming communities, center networking and co-learning among subawardees, and resource underserved farmers as conservation leaders. This program will work with an advisory group to support eight to 20 organizations collaborating with underserved farmers on water quality, habitat, or forestry improvements, thus reducing phosphorus and nitrogen loss.

Agroforestry Grants

Contour Lines USA

Business and Markets

Local Foods Purchasing Assistance Program

Agricultural Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Iowa Local Foods Purchasing Assistance Program will buy local food from Iowa’s producers for distribution to Iowans in under-resourced communities.

Farm Business Coaching Assistance

Practical Farmers of Iowa

The Farm Business Coaching Assistance program aims to help farmers strengthen their businesses through in-depth consultations with experts. The process begins with a farm business assessment to identify both internal and external areas of opportunity.

Developing perennial markets for Midwestern growers

Savanna Institute

The Savanna Institute is developing strategic partnerships to increase the viability of agroforestry in the Midwest. Our goal is to stimulate the development of regional food systems that can realize the full potential of agroforestry.

IL Sustainable Ag Partnership -Ecosystem Markets

Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership

ISAP compiled An Overview of Voluntary Carbon Markets for Illinois Farmers to assist farmers and farm advisors in their evaluation of multiple market opportunities available in Illinois. This resource focuses on agricultural opportunities for ecosystem service markets, including markets incentivizing carbon and water quality. Some of this information was originally published by ISAP in the 2021 Ecomarkets Program Comparison. The 2023 update includes additional carbon market opportunities available to Illinois farmers, summaries of 15 different voluntary carbon markets, a glossary of key terms, and a list of relevant resources.

Retail Resoruces

International Fresh Produce Association

The International Fresh Produce Association is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain, and the only association to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to create a vibrant future for all, and to do so with your prosperity in mind.

Business Solutions for Wholesalers and Distributors

National Association of Wholeseler-Distributors

NAW Business Solutions is NAW’s strategic partner, sponsorship and audience activation network. An ecosystem of dedicated partners, solution providers and sponsors who aim to help wholesaler-distributors to address their most pressing challenges and run their businesses better, while also sharing their brand, strategies, and solutions with key decision-makers throughout the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry.

INFMCP Learning Circle

Indiana Farmers Market

The Indiana Farmers Market Community of Practice’s Learning Circle is a group of people with a common interest who meet regularly to learn from each other about a self-identified topic. Learning Circles are flexible, peer-directed learning experiences. INFMCP Learning Circle(s) will meet on a regular basis via Zoom with the number of meetings, length and frequency of the meetings to be determined by the group.


Community Food Systems Mentorship Program

Food Systems Leadership Network, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the USDA Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and RAFI-USA.

The Community Food Systems Mentorship Program provides food systems leaders with the opportunity to closely engage with proven leaders and experts as thought partners and coaches.

Foodscapes: Accelerating a Regenerative Food Systems Transition

The Nature Conservancy

The global mapping used in our report, Foodscapes: Toward Food System Transition, resulted in more than 80 foodscape classes that showcase the diversity of food production systems around the world. Understanding the diversity that underpins our global food system is a first step toward changing it. It can provide useful insight that can be further developed, adapted and applied using local, place-based knowledge.

Training Carbon Farm Planners

Carbon Cycle Institute

The Carbon Cycle Institute provides high quality education and training opportunities to our partners. While rooted in universal ecosystem processes and principles, an understanding of carbon farming and carbon farm planning remains elusive for many producers and natural resource professionals. CCI continues to play a pivotal role in guiding the emerging carbon farming community toward a more complete understanding of the concept, its methodologies, its metrics and its implications at the farm, global and intermediate scales.

Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education (SARE)

Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is a decentralized competitive grants and education program.

Extended Rotation

Cover Crop Cost-Share by PFI

Practical Farmers of Iowa

“Practical Farmers offers cost-share and technical assistance for those who are seeding fall cover crops.
Participants must farm in eligible counties in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska or South Dakota.
Payment rates are $10 per acre on an unlimited number of acres. There are no requirements on the species or seeding method used.”

Conservation Stewardship Program

Local NRCS office
USDA Farm Bill

Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals. We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Local NRCS office
USDA Farm Bill

NRCS works one-on-one with producers to develop a conservation plan that outlines conservation practices and activities to help solve on-farm resource issues. Producers implement practices and activities in their conservation plan that can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving their agricultural operations. EQIP helps producers make conservation work for them. Financial assistance for practices may be available through EQIP. Some producers may also qualify for advance payment.

Cedar River Regional Conservation
Partnership Program (RCPP)

TruTerra a Land O’Llakes INC. Company USDA-NRCS

“The Cedar River Regional Conservation Partnership Program is designed to help improve drinking
water quality, reduce flood risk downstream, and help improve wildlife habitat through conservation
management practices. Iowa farmers in the Cedar River Watershed may qualify for cost-share incentives to implement conservation practices.”

2024 Truterra® Carbon Program

TruTerra, a Land O’Lakes Inc. Company; USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities

“The Truterra® carbon program can help eligible farmers offset some of the technical and financial costs
associated with the transition to conservation agronomy practices and potentially reward them for the
impact of their services. Potentially get paid $30/metric ton of carbon with a minimum of $2/acre as a result of making
eligible practice changes (adopting stip/no-till and/or adding cover crops).”

2024 Truterra®
Financial Assistance – a USDA-supported program

TruTerra, a Land O’Lakes Inc. Company

“The Truterra® financial assistance program can help support eligible farmers’ conversion to strip/no-till
and/or addition of cover crops on a single contiguous field of less than or equal to 160 acres by providing: financial assistance, expanded knowledge sharing, and data management. The financial assistance program is funded under USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities
(CFDA 10.937)”

2024 Truterra® Nitrogen Management Program

TruTerra, a Land O’Lakes Inc. Company

“The Truterra® nitrogen management program rewards eligible farmers for providing the service
of improving nitrogen management practices on corn fields (with the goal of reducing emissions), independent of tillage and cover crop practice changes. Potentially earn $5/acre for reducing applied nitrogen on corn fields by at least 20 lbs./acre and/or by using an approved enhanced efficiency fertilizer.”

4R Plus: Soil Health & Conservation Practices

4R Plus

4R Plus involves using precise 4R nutrient management and conservation practices to provide nutrients when the crop needs them, to enhance soil health, and improve water quality. The goal is to achieve a more productive crop now and in the future.

IL Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Local NRCS office
USDA Farm Bill

Promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners who offer value-added contributions to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes.

Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (S.T.A.R.)

Sangamon Coutny SWCD

The S.T.A.R. (Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources) evaluation system assigns points for each cropping, tillage, nutrient application and soil conservation activity used on individual fields. The practices selected and the point values assigned are determined by a group of scientists and researchers, including some farmers who are involved in research. That “Science Advisory Committee” bases their analysis of recommended practices on the potential contribution to the goals of the NLRS. The total points are used in a scale to determine a rating of 1 to 5 Stars for each individual field.

Partners for Conservation Program (PFC)

Local SWCD office Illinois DOA / State Allocations

The Partners for Conservation Program (PFC) is a program of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land and Water Resources. Eligible conservation projects emphasize soil erosion control and water quality protection including cover crops, nutrient management, and water well sealing.

Illinois Cover Crop Initiative (ICCI)

American Farmland Trust
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The Illinois Cover Crop Initiative (ICCI) provides a $10/ acre incentive for cover crops. If farmers deliver to certain ADM locations, they may be eligible for incentive payments for no-till and nutrient management as well.

Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF)

Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
Carbon Credits: Pepsi, Nutrien, and Ingredion
Water Quality Credits: NRCS

The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF) is an ecosystem service market outcomes-based payments through carbon and water quality credits for new conservation practice implementation

Farmers Conservation Leader Subaward Program

Wallace Center

Wallace Center’s Farmer Conservation Leader Subaward Program is a competitive subaward program for the Mississippi River Region (HUCs 07 and 08), that aims to address the diverse needs of historically underserved farming communities, center networking and co-learning among subawardees, and resource underserved farmers as conservation leaders. This program will work with an advisory group to support eight to 20 organizations collaborating with underserved farmers on water quality, habitat, or forestry improvements, thus reducing phosphorus and nitrogen loss.


Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2024

Purdue University

Eight Midwestern states cooperate in the production of this annually updated guide. It includes production information such as vegetable varieties, soils and fertility as well as recommendations for weed, insect and disease control for commercial growers.

Produce Safety Cost-Share

Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa is offering a cost-share program for specialty crop farmers seeking to make on-farm food safety improvements. Participants will spend at least $2,200 on improvements and receive a $2,000 reimbursement.


U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA offer loans directly through USDA and also guarantee loans through other lenders. Loans available directly through USDA range from $50,000 microloans to a maximum of $400,000 for operating loans and up to $600,000 for ownership loans.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)

United States Department of Agriculture
Risk Management Agency

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy and is available in all counties nationwide. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $17 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.

Rural Development Grant Program

Illinois Farm Bureau: Farm, Family, Food

“Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is launching a new Rural Development Grant Program to support rural development projects that will positively impact Farm Bureau members and other rural Illinoisans.
Aligning with IFB policy and local government priorities, the program hopes to elevate and provide additional focus on rural development. It will provide resources, tools and support to help local communities and counties overcome challenges inherent in rural development projects, such as lack of funding and volunteers, complicated grant applications and others.”

Indiana Small Business Develoment Center Agribusiness Initiative

Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), Purdue Extension, and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)

The Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative offers Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector access to no-cost, confidential specialty business advising and training, including financing, crop yield projections, U.S. Department of Agriculture loan packaging, value-added product development and commodity exporting, among others.

Production & Technical Resources

Midwest Vegetable Growers Network

“This resource catalog helps growers to learn about multiple sources for produce supplies, so you can shop smarter, learn about specific items that are working for many other Midwest farmers, read testimonials about certain products and companies from your peers.
The categories listed include production resources, technical assistance, grower education, and other services (like marketing and business management) for growers. “

MVEG Working Groups

Midwest Vegetable Growers Network

Are you a direct market vegetable grower in the Midwest who wants to connect with peers throughout the region and work together to advance support for farmers? Or are you a member of a farmer supporting organization who would like to plug into our network to amplify the reach of your services?Working Groups are a way for you to engage with the network on a specific topic, working in small groups to identify and provide resources in a particular subject area to growers. See below for descriptions of each group, and reach out to the facilitator if you’re interested in becoming part of one.

Integrated-grazed livestock

Regenerative Grazing Lands

The Nature Conservancy

Livestock grazing on intact, working grasslands can help secure clean water, enhance habitat, address climate change and sustain rural communities.

Rotational Grazing Cover Crops

Sand County Foundation

Sand County Foundation demonstrated the conservation and economic benefits of rotational grazing livestock on cover crops with four experienced graziers in Sauk County, Wisconsin.

Southern Indiana Regenerative Grazing Project

Wallace Center at Winrock International

The Wallace Center is committed to regional transformation of Midwest agriculture and, to achieve this, is evolving its long-standing work to support regenerative grazing in the region through the Pasture Project. This evolution focuses on supporting place-based work, in collaboration with local and state partners, to develop grass-fed beef, dairy, and small ruminant value chains in key geographies across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Basin.

2024 Grazing Consultations by PFI

Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers is offering grazing consultation calls with Livestock Viability Manager Margaret Chamas to farmers interested in taking their management to the next level – whether that’s grazing for the first time, going from monthly to weekly moves or setting up a super-intensive system with multiple paddock shifts a day.

Grazing Infrastructure Cost-Share

Practical Farmers of Iowa

The grazing cost-share supports aspiring or existing graziers who wish to adopt regenerative grazing practices that improve forage, soil and water quality. The cost-share also helps them expand their livestock enterprises through improved grazing management.

Midwest Grazing Exchange

Midwest Grazing Exchange

The Midwest Grazing Exchange is a free matchmaking service that aims to connect graziers seeking land to graze with landowners in six Midwestern states. It was created to help farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin find livestock or land to graze.

The pasture project

Wallace Center at Winrock International

The Pasture Project works to advance regenerative grazing and grass-fed value chains in the Upper Midwest as a scalable, market-driven solution for building healthy soil, viable farms, and resilient communities.  We work with farmers, land managers, public agencies, and farm member-based organizations to build resources, provide technical assistance, and remove barriers for expanding use of regenerative practices, value-chains and end markets that yield win-win outcomes for farmers, communities, and the environment.

Growing Value for Producers Climate Smart Commodities Project

Wallace Center at Winrock International

The project will develop and pilot a fully digital farmer-friendly registry system to issue and track producer-owned agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) certificates based on climate smart practices. Farmers can monetize the certificates through commodity markets, enabling corporate buyers to advance supply chain climate claims. The project will offer financial and technical support to producers to adopt practices and participate in the market through sales of the certificates.

Facilitating low-overhead dairy grazing for the upper midwest

Wallace Center at Winrock International

This project will help dairy farmers in the Great Lakes Basin to create the necessary technical and business plans to create larger-herd, low-overhead dairy grazing operations. We will provide a range of services customized to each farm.

North America Agriculture

The Nature Conservancy

TNC is working with farmers, ranchers and other partners to meet the growing demand for food, while protecting lands and waters for people and nature.

Perennial Pasture-forage

Grassland Reserve Program

Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) works to prevent grazing and pasture land from being converted into cropland or used for urban development. In return for voluntarily limiting the future development of their land, farmers receive a rental payment.

Farmable Wetlands Program

Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP) is designed to restore wetlands and wetland buffer zones that are farmed. FWP gives farmers and ranchers annual rental payments in return for restoring wetlands and establishing plant cover.


H-2A Program

Illinois Farm Bureau: Farm, Family, Food

The H-2A program started in 1952 and has played an important part in agriculture labor ever since. H-2A provides farmers an opportunity to hire seasonal agriculture workers on a temporary work visa program. American farmers and growers of all sizes and types may take advantage of this program, including those working in row crop, fruit trees, berry bushes, grapevines, vegetables, livestock and more.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

IL Sustainable Ag Partnership – Climate-Smart Agriculture

Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership

ISAP is dedicated to supporting farmers as they adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. By disseminating relevant research, creating a strong network of informed advisors, and promoting the adoption of climate smart agricultural practices, ISAP is committed to ensuring that Illinois agriculture benefits from being part of the climate solution.