Wallace Center announces winners of Farmer Conservation Leader Program

Little Rock, Ark. — The Wallace Center at Winrock International is pleased to announce the recipients of its Farmer Conservation Leader Subaward Program, an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Division (EPA-GMD).

This first-of-its-kind subaward program addresses the needs of historically underserved farming communities in the Mississippi River Region by providing funding and technical support to organizations to design and implement sustainable conservation projects. It also recognizes the leadership that many historically underserved farmers already offer to land and water conservation.

In its role as program administrator, the Wallace Center supports subawardees in their program evaluation efforts and facilitates learning across the cohort of organizations.

Four advisors will support organizations in implementing their programs. These advisors are trusted experts in sustainable and agriculture and food systems. They include Felicia Bell of RD&S Farm; Pakou Hang, founder and former executive director of Hmong American Farmers Association; Mackenize Martinez of Intertribal Agriculture Council; and Brennan Washington of Phoenix Gardens.

The participating subawardee organizations and tribal nations include:
Dream of Wild Health: This Minn.-based organization will create an Indigenous farmer incubator & training program with partners, Inter-tribal Agricultural Council, Upper Midwest Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, and Savanna Institute.
Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA): This membership-based organization in St. Paul will increase the percentage of the HAFA Farm that is seasonally covered in cover crops to 40 percent over three years by training their farmers on cover crops, water quality monitoring, soil sampling, and providing one on one technical assistance.
Potlikker Capital: This charitable, integrated non-profit capital fund based in Ithaca will support farmers in the Upper Mississippi River Basin region to transition to sustainable farming methods, resulting in improved soil conditions, environmental conservation, increased farm profitability, and healthier communities with a focus on symbiotic mutualism.
Ho-Chunk Nation: This tribal nation with traditional territory across modern-day Wisc., Minn., and Ill., will recruit a cohort of farmers to receive targeted training on regenerative practices and traditional ecological knowledge. The Ho-Chunk Nation will also offer field days and community events for hands-on learning and to promote broader awareness.

About the Wallace Center: The Wallace Center brings together diverse people and ideas to co-create solutions that build healthy farms, equitable economies, and resilient food systems. Through our programs and leadership, we seek to affect systems change to bring benefits to the environment, to communities, and to the farmers and food businesses that are the building blocks of a healthy and equitable food system.