MAWQCP Climate Smart Farms Project


The MAWQCP Climate Smart Farms Project delivers individualized service to MAWQCP-certified producers through piloting an opportunity to receive annual payments of $1,000. These bridge payments provide producers support as they work with local representatives to explore and prepare for evolving climate marketplaces and public programs. The purpose of the project is to help producers access new and reliable earned income streams for the environmental benefits they are providing our state and nation.

The Climate Smart Farm Endorsement serves a support role in working with producers to identify the climate benefits within their production systems. The endorsement enables producers to explore the existing climate benefits they are producing and potential opportunities for additional actions unique and site-specific to their agricultural land and management. Producers who obtain the Climate Smart Endorsement will also receive a copy of the “Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Market Contracts in Minnesota,” published by the Minnesota Farmers Union in partnership with Farmers' Legal Action Group and the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program.

Who’s Eligible

The bridge payments are available to certified producers who have obtained the Climate Smart Farm Endorsement or are actively seeking the Endorsement.

In the event producers enroll or participate in a separate private or public climate payment market or program, their eligibility for and participation in the MAWQCP Climate Smart Farms Project will conclude (those producers will have “crossed the bridge” to a successful Climate Smart system).


The MAWQCP Climate Smart Farms Project awards a bridge payment of $1,000 per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to eligible producers, with the potential to continue annual participation up to 5 years. Applications are accepted online.

Application Period

The online application will open July 15, 2022 and will close May 31, 2023. Applications are reviewed as received. Eligibility is verified by the MAWQCP certifying agent and approved by the MDA staff. Apply online.


MAWQCP Financial Assistance Grant


The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is designed to accelerate adoption of on-farm practices that protect Minnesota’s waters. Producers going through the certification process have priority access to financial assistance. One assistance program is the MAWQCP Grant. Applications are accepted online.

Who’s Eligible

These grants are available to Minnesota producers who are already certified or actively seeking certification through the MAWQCP.

Grant Award

The grant awards up to $5000.00 to eligible producers implementing agricultural best management practices. This grant will supplement the cost of the practice as an add-on after other public funds are applied, not to exceed a total public payment cost of 75%.  (Additional funds for CRP are not allowed in this grant program.)

Application Period

Grant applications are reviewed as received.  Eligible practices are identified by the MAWQCP certifying agent and approved by the MDA staff.  Applications for the MAWQCP Financial Assistance Grant have no application deadline and are awarded on a first come basis until all funds are expended. Apply online.


MAWQCP Farm Business Management Scholarship


The MAWQCP Farm Business Management Scholarship Program provides scholarships to water quality certified producers to learn business management strategies that will lead to profitable and competitive farming operations. The Minnesota Farm Business Management Program (FBM) is a one on one student led program designed to provide education to farm owners and operators with the purpose of assisting students in meeting their business and personal goals. The program focuses on using quality records and sound business decisions with tools such as the FINBIN Farm Financial Database.

Who's Eligible

This scholarship is available to Minnesota producers who are already certified through the MAWQCP. If awarded, the student must also complete a farm financial analysis with their FBM instructor.

Scholarship Award

The scholarship awards $140 per credit (approximately 75% of the cost of tuition) for new FBM students in their first and/or second semester of the FBM program and $90 per credit (approximately 50% the cost of tuition) for returning students in their third semester or beyond. Students must enroll in a minimum of 2 credits per semester, or 4 per academic year, with a maximum of 10 credits per year.

Application Period

Applications are reviewed as received. The deadline for Spring Semester is March 1 and the deadline for Summer Semester is June 1. Scholarships are awarded on a first come basis until all funds are expended. To apply, work with your FBM instructor to complete the scholarship application.


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