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Funding

Water Management for Resilient Farms

Water quantity is one of the central limiting factors facing every ag operation. In times of drought, it reduces our yields and increases our water bills. In times of flood, stormwater runoff can cost operations in terms of pasture damage, increased stress on livestock due to muddy conditions, and on-site water source contamination. Municipal water is not available everywhere, and where it is, farmers have to share with surrounding communities.

On Farm Water Management | About the Program

The On-Farm Water Management Program (OFWMP) is a program that wants to find ways to allow producers to take advantage of water resources naturally available on their land, and by doing so improve farm resiliency to drought, manage resources efficiently, and enhance the bottom line by reducing water costs. A collaboration between the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB) and the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Water Resources Board (WRB) has several goals:
  • To promote innovation in on-farm water management,
  • To decrease production dependence on municipal water sources,
  • To increase on-farm water availability and farm profitability,
  • To normalize innovative practices, and
  • To improve data on costs/benefits of new practices

What are we looking for? | Project Categories

The program is looking for projects that fit into one of two categories: Research, Development, and Demonstration Farms (RDD) and Practical Implementation Projects (PIP).

Research, Development, and Demonstration Farms (RDD)

This category is for water management practices on public regional farms. RDD farms will act as educational hubs that will be open for public, educational tours to highlight practices for harvesting, storing and redistributing water. The program is a 50/50 cost-share (some exceptions apply) with an application cap of $250,000 in KADB funds. RDD projects must

  • Include an educational component that helps teach producers about the Best Management Practices in place through the program.
  • Provide data on how well the practices are working (before and after pictures, cost/benefit analysis, etc.).
  • Be available for public tours, demonstrations, events (ex. farm field days).
  • Work with an appropriate partner agency (UK extension, NRCS, etc.) to develop BMPs and/or data collection about practices.
  • Involve multiple Best Management Practices or innovative approaches.
  • Maintain the BMPs for the life of the practice.
Practical Implementation Project (PIP)

This category is for private farms that wish to implement best management practices for water management and are only interested in one or two practices. They are not required to have the public visit their farm, but are encouraged to participate in regional farm field days through UK Extension and NRCS. The program is a 50/50 cost-share with an application cap of $50,000. PIP projects must

  • Provide data on how well the practices are working (before and after pictures, cost/benefit analysis, etc.).
  • Work with an appropriate partner agency (UK extension, NRCS, etc.) to develop BMPs and/or data collection about practices. This may also include collaboration with an up and running RDD.
  • Maintain the BMPs for the life of the practice.

Where do I start? | Applying for OFWMP


  1. Call Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to discuss project specifics.
    Contact Dale Booth, 502-782-6895

  2. Schedule a site visit with TAG to confirm eligibility.

  3. Read Grant Guidance and determine project category.

  4. Submit a draft of the application to the TAG for review.

  5. Submit revised application to TAG for final sign-off that application is complete.
    • TAG will produce an executive summary of the project for use by the selection committee.
    • TAG will give the applicant a signed confirmation that the content of the application is all complete for the review by the board. Include this sheet in the application packet submitted to the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP).

  6. Applicant submits completed package to GOAP.

  7. GOAP confirms that package is physically complete (signed original and 19 copies, properly bound, with TAG sign off sheet).

 | Selection

  1. Once submitted, the application is sent to a committee for review. The committee consists of 3 members from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board and 3 members from the Kentucky Water Resources Board.

  2. Applications will be reviewed at a quarterly meeting, OR as needed if more frequent review is deemed necessary.

  3. The applicant is strongly encouraged to attend the selection committee meeting to answer any final questions of the committee.

  4. Following the committee meeting, the committee submits the application to the Agricultural Development Board (ADB) for their consideration at their monthly meeting.

  5. Once approved, applicant and GOAP enter a legal agreement a contract for the work.

What should my application include? | Submitting Your Application Packet


  • Signed TAG approval sheet confirming completed application.
  • Original signed application: Single-sided complete application with signature and all requested supporting materials.
  • Application copies:
The application package must include 19 copies of the original application and all supporting documentation (maps, business plans, etc.) in addition to the signed original. Please do not bind. 
The copies may be double-sided.

Mail or deliver the application packet to:
Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy
404 Ann Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
ATTN: On Farm Water Management Program (OFWMP)

The final application may not be submitted electronically.