Current Opportunities:

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

    Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge in Hartford, Kansas has cooperative agricultural opportunities for crop cultivation on four units totaling 994.1 acres in Lyon and Coffey Counties for up to three years.

    Bids must be received by 9 a.m. Thursday, September 20. Bids may be submitted by mail to Flint Hills Refuge, P.O. Box 128, Hartford KS 66854 or in person to the refuge office at 530 West Maple Ave., Hartford, KS.  A public bid opening will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at the refuge.

    For more information, please contact refuge manager Jack Bohannan at 620-392-5553 ext. 103 or Jack_Bohannan@fws.gov.

    Iowa Wetland Management District in Kossuth County, Iowa, is accepting bids for one-year cooperative grazing agreements on four tracts of land totaling 420 acres. The agreements are for the 2019 grazing dates only. Bids must be received by 3:45 p.m. Thursday, September 27, 2018.

    Bid packets will be available on the Iowa WMD web site and at the Iowa WMD office. For more information or a bid package, please contact refuge manager Ed Meendering at 515-928-2523 ext. 11 or Edward_Meendering@fws.gov.

    Applications:

    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.