Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA) is a nonprofit social enterprise working to benefit the environment and agriculture.
IFCA began because of the Farmers Irrigation District (FID) of Hood River, Oregon who lost its irrigation infrastructure due to a severe flood event on the Hood River in 1996.
Left without a way to deliver water to their farmers or generate revenue with their hydroelectricity plants, and seeking a solution to the problems they had with their previous fish screens, FID staff began brainstorming ways to restore their district.
Intrigued by the concept of horizontal fish screens, the irrigation district went to state agencies, nonprofits, and tribes and asked for their support in developing a new type of fish screen. After ten years of research and testing, FID created the Farmers Screen™, a self-cleaning, horizontal screen that protects fish and manages debris.
To honor the collaborative effort that made the screen possible, as well as to ensure that the screen would always be used to benefit the common good, FID patented the Farmers Screen™ technology. In 2006, FID licensed the Farmers Screen™ to the Farmers Conservation Alliance with the conditions that FCA take the screen to market, address institutional barriers to widespread screen installation, and use profits for other solutions that benefit both the environment and agriculture.
Since this time, FCA has worked to receive regulatory approvals, establish a proof of concept, and prepare for widespread screen installations. Perhaps most critical to FCA’s success was receiving the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approval for the Farmers Screen, in July 2011. This NMFS approval allowed FCA to move beyond experimental technology and begin widespread national and international screen distribution.
Informed by the work of the Farmers Screen™, FCA has developed the Irrigation Modernization Program. This program supports irrigation districts in realizing their vision of greater efficiency, conservation, and economic growth by developing comprehensive modernization strategies.
To learn more, please visit: fcasolutions.org.