Agricultural Conservation Programs

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grants - Targeted Runoff Management

Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) grants are provided to control polluted runoff from both urban and rural sites. The grants are targeted at high-priority resource problems. Projects funded by TRM grants are site-specific and serve areas generally smaller in size than a subwatershed. The grant period is 2 years, with a possible 1-year extension. 

The maximum cost-share rate available to TRM grant recipients is 70% of eligible costs, with the total of state funding not to exceed $150,000.

DNR Grants - Lake Grants

Wisconsin has several types of lake grants available to qualified lake organizations and municipalities. Learn more about the DNR Lake Grant Program.

Farmland Preservation

Walworth County taxpayers who put their land into Farmland Preservation are provided a tax incentive for utilizing soil saving farming practices. Technical assistance is provided by Land Conservation. 

Land and Water Resource Management Plan

This program sets forth a long-range strategy to target Land Conservation activities, staff and financial resources and is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. It also provides funding on a county-wide basis for Best Management Practices to be installed to protect the diverse and unique natural resource base.

Transect Survey

Valuable information is gathered on a yearly basis to help demonstrate the reduction of soil erosion in the county. The survey serves as a monitoring tool to determine compliance with statutory soil erosion goals, performance standards, local trends and progress toward activities in county land and water resource management plans. Each year approximately 740 sites are surveyed and data is sent to Purdue University to be incorporated into a national database.

Farm Stewardship

Land Conservation staff also provides assistance to landowners and farm operators to plan and implement conservation measures including:

  • Animal Waste Storage
  • Conservation Cropping
  • Nutrient and Pest Management
  • Structural and Other Best Management Practices
  • Various Soil Saving Tillage Practices

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

CREP is an opportunity for Wisconsin landowners to voluntarily enroll agricultural lands into conservation practices, such as riparian buffers, filter strips, wetland restorations, waterways and establishment of native grasslands in the grassland project area. There is no waiting period; enrollment and eligibility determinations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. It is a Federal-State-Local partnership between the:

  • Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Participating County Land Conservation Departments (LCD) Throughout Much of the State
  • United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)


USDA is providing $200 million in federal funds to landowners for the implementation of the federal portion of the program. The State of Wisconsin is contributing $40 million in bond funds to landowners while participating counties are utilizing LCD staff to implement the state portion of the program. 

Other Federal Programs

There are a variety of additional conservation programs that may complement the resource needs on your property.