Missouri Ruralist logo

Funds available to establish native forages

Missouri Minute: Got a 100-year-old farm? Register it with the Missouri Century Farm program.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

March 7, 2023

2 Min Read
 cows standing in field surround by native grasses and wire fence
FORAGING AHEAD: No matter the time of year, native plants offer cows and calves a quality eating experience. NRCS has funds to help farmers add native forages to livestock pastures. Mindy Ward

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri is accepting applications for funding to incorporate native forages in grazing systems.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program Native Forages Initiative allows producers and landowners to receive technical and financial assistance for the establishment of native forages by either renovating existing non-native forage for haying or grazing or converting cropland to native forage for haying or grazing. To help speed up the allocation process, NRCS is using its recently rolled out Act Now program.

The accelerated EQIP Act Now program enables NRCS to immediately approve a ranked application when an eligible application meets or exceeds a determined minimum ranking score.

NRCS in Missouri is accepting applications through Aug. 1. Applications submitted before that deadline will be assessed and ranked as soon as the applicant has made treatment decisions through a conservation plan.

Based on fund availability, applications meeting a minimum threshold will be preapproved immediately. NRCS is offering $459 to $511 per acre for this initiative.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering additional funding in select geographies. More information can be found at the EQIP – Native Forage Initiative website.

Information about NRCS programs and assistance is also available by visiting mo.nrcs.usda.gov or contacting your local NRCS county office.

Missouri Century Farm applications are open

Applications are now available to have your 100-year-old family farm named a Missouri Century Farm.

Guidelines used for the selection and recognition are as follows:

  • The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years or more as of Dec. 31, 2023.

  • The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews and nieces, including through marriage or adoption.

  • The present farm shall consist of no less than 40 acres of the original land and shall make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

There is a fee of $140 to cover processing costs, one certificate, a booklet and one two-sided, 2-foot-by-2-foot metal sign that includes the University of Missouri and Missouri Farm Bureau logos for each approved farm. The application deadline is May 1.

Downloadable, mail-in forms are available upon request by visiting MU Extension. If you have questions, contact the Missouri Century Farms Coordinator at 573-882-7216 or email [email protected].

Here are questions that need to be answered for the online application:

  1. How many acres of the original acquisition are you qualifying as a Century Farm?

  2. Does this tract contribute toward gross income of the owner(s) (rent counts as income)?

  3. List the name of the first family member to own the land and that person's relationship to the current owner(s).

  4. What documents exist that show original family ownership? This may include deed, wills, land patents, abstract of title, grants, county land records, or other.

Use the "upload" button at the end of the online application to save, print and send to the Missouri Century Farms coordinator.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like