Current Opportunities

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

 

  1. Kulm Wetland Management District in Kulm, North Dakota, is accepting bids on 19 haying permits for units ranging from 2 to 80 acres. Permits are for one year only. Applicants will be selected based on a sealed bid submission.  

    Applications can be submitted via mail, email, fax or in person. No phone bids will be accepted.  For more information on the application process and details on the available units, visit the Kulm Wetland Management District website or call 701-647-2866.

    Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2019. A public bid opening will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, July 22, 2019 at the  Kulm Wetland Management District office at 1 First Street SW.

  2. Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Moffit, North Dakota, is accepting applications for nine haying permits for units ranging from 18 to 147 acres.  Applicants will be selected based on a sealed bid submission.  For information on the application process and details on the available units, please visit the refuge website or call 701-387-4397.

    Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2019.  A public bid opening will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 25, 2019, at the Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge office, 12000 353rd Street SE, Moffit, ND 58560.

  3. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alabama are seeking producers to work one or more of seven farms totaling about 3,325 acres on Wheeler Refuge and one farm of about 295 acres on Key Cave Refuge. The agreements are for five years (2020-2024), renewed annually.

    For more information on the application process and the cooperative agriculture program, please see the Wheeler Refuge website or call the refuge office weekdays at 256-353-7243 or e-mail William_Gates@fws.gov.

    Applications must be placed in a sealed envelope marked Cooperative Agriculture Application and submitted to the Wheeler Refuge Office, 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603 or emailed to William_Gates@fws.gov. Applications must be received by 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 26, 2019.

  4. The Iowa Wetland Management District in Titonka, Iowa, is accepting bids for haying opportunities in Kossuth County, Iowa. Opportunities include three hay units ranging in size from 5 to 10 acres. Producers must follow all federal and state regulations regarding timing, etc. For questions, please contact refuge manager Ed Meendering at 515-928-2523 ext. 11.

    Bid packets are available on the district website and at the district office.

    Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Thursday, August 8, 2019.

  5. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois is accepting bids for seven three-year agricultural row crop permits. Row crop units vary in size from 525 to 588 acres. Cooperators will be expected to follow a wide range of special conditions and constraints.

    For more information, visit the refuge website. Printed bid packets can be picked up at the refuge visitor center, located at 8588 Route 148 in Marion. To request an electronic version, please contact Wildlife Biologist Dan Wood at daniel_wood@fws.gov or 618-998-5917. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Friday August 9, 2019.

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 U.S. Fish and Wildife 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 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.