Current Opportunities:

    Please click on the link below to apply or contact the refuge directly for more details.  

    Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Basom, NY will offer for bid 198 acres of grassland hay in three different fields ranging in size from 50 to 90 acres. Hay will be allocated on a highest-bid-per-field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until close of business Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Bids will be opened Thursday, July 12, 2018. An official bid sheet and commercial activities special use permit application, both available from the refuge headquarters, are required to make a bid. Completed bid sheets and permit applications can be mailed to or dropped off at the refuge headquarters at 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013 and must contain all the information requested. If you have any questions about the haying program or would like to see the fields, please call the refuge at 585-948-5445.

    Kulm Wetland Management District in Kulm, North Dakota, is accepting applications for 17 haying permits for units ranging from 4 to 84 acres. One permit is for two years. All the others are for one year. Applicants will be selected based on a sealed bid submission. For more information on the application process and details on the available units, visit our website or call 701-647-2866.

    Applications must be received by 4 p.m.  Friday, July 13, 2018. A public bid opening will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, July 16, 2018, at the Kulm Wetland Management District office, 1 1st St. SW, Kulm, ND 58456.

    Audubon Wetland Management District in North Dakota is accepting bids for hay cutting on 12 waterfowl production areas in Sheridan, Ward and McLean Counties. Those interested in submitting bids should contact the Audubon Wetland Management District at 701-442-5474 for information regarding size and location of hay units available in 2018.

    Bids must be received at the Audubon Wetland Management District office (3275 11th St. NW, Coleharbor, ND) by close of business July 19, 2018. Bids will be opened at 9 a.m. on July 23, 2018. The public is welcome to attend. 

    Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Moffit, North Dakota, is accepting applications for eight haying permits for units ranging from 36 to 180 acres. Applicants will be selected based on a sealed bid submission. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2018. A public bid opening will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, July 23, 2018, at the Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge office, 12000 353rd St. SE, Moffit, ND 58560. For information on the application process and details on the available units, visit our website or call 701-387-4397.

    Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford, Kansas will award three cattle-grazing three-year permits for seasons 2019-2021 (May through August), each to the highest bidder. Sealed bids will be accepted starting Monday, June 25, 2018 at 8 a.m. and closing Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at
    2 p.m. Sealed bids will be opened July 26, 2018 at
    2 p.m. at Refuge Headquarters, 1434 NE 80th St., Stafford, KS 67578. The opening of sealed bids will be open to the public, otherwise bidders will be promptly informed of results. For more information on the bidding process and sheets or on grazing permits, such as operations, regulations, and maps, contact David McCauley ( at Quivira Refuge at 620-486-2304 ext. 239.  



    All applicants for cooperative agriculture opportunities must complete and submit the Service’s Commercial Special Use Form as well as follow any other application instructions outlined for the specific opportunity. The completed application should be delivered by email, mail or in person to the refuge where the specific opportunity is available.

Cooperative Agriculture

Sandhill cranes landing in a cornfield at Bosque del Apache NWR, near San Antonio, New Mexico.
Sandhill cranes land in a cornfield at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, New Mexico.
(Photo: Aspen Photo Art by Larry Bennett)

Cooperative agriculture —partnering with farmers and ranchers to meet wildlife management objectives — is a long-standing practice on national wildlife refuges (50 CFR 29.2). Cooperative agreements between the Service and farmers or ranchers may permit grazing by cattle or the growing of grain, hay or other crops at a specific refuge. The refuge benefits by producing more food for wildlife or by improving natural habitat. The farmer profits by harvesting and selling the remaining crop. The rancher gains access to more grazing land.

Cooperative agriculture is used on refuges only in situations where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot meet its resource management objectives through the maintenance, management or mimicking of natural ecosystem processes or functions in other ways.

How to Apply for a Cooperative Agriculture Opportunity

Cooperative agriculture agreements on refuges are awarded through an open and competitive process. Each opportunity is unique and tailored to the conditions at an individual refuge and the needs of its surrounding agricultural community. The Service enters into agreements with farmers and ranchers based on their experience and ability to conduct their agricultural business under similar agreements and restrictions. The Service works with farmers and ranchers to ensure that all parties meet their objectives.

The Service periodically has cooperative agricultural opportunities available across the country.