Groups are required to work with a collaborator in order to apply for a Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant from DATCP. Collaborators play key roles in organizing and facilitating activities for the group. Many groups work with partners in addition to their collaborators too, as there are many benefits of partnership with other organizations as a producer-led group.
Collaborator: The producer-led group collaborator has an MOU with the group related to the activities the collaborator assists the group with. They are listed on the group’s grant application as the collaborator and often play a key role in communication between the farmers in the group and DATCP or other partners. A collaborator may be a county land conservation department, UW Extension, DNR, or another non-profit conservation organization.
Partner: A partner to the group is assisting the group with a specific activity or project. This could be a research partner helping the group set-up on-farm research demonstrations, for example. It might also be an organization or institution that is helping the group with strategic planning, goal setting, or some other aspect of group formation or management. Another example may be an organization that is helping the group track conservation practice data to help the group tell success stories. There a multiple services and roles different partners can play in producer-led watershed groups.
Fiscal agent: The fiscal agent accepts the grant money on behalf of the watershed group. Some groups act as their own fiscal agent, if they are set up as their own legal entity. Many other groups work through their collaborator or another partner to accept and manage their grant award funds. It is helpful for groups to think through how they will manage grant funds with their collaborator ahead of applying for a grant.
For more information about partners and collaborators that work with producer-led groups, visit the links below: