History of FCA
Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA) is a nonprofit social enterprise working to benefit the environment and agriculture.
In theory, FCA began in 1996 when the Farmers Irrigation District (FID) of Hood River, Oregon lost its irrigation infrastructure due to a severe flood event on the Hood River.
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. Over the last six years, FCA has installed twenty-four fish screens in 4 states, in a variety of political, social, and terrain conditions. In addition, and perhaps most critical to FCA’s future success, FCA received National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approval for the Farmers Screen in July 2011. This NMFS approval allows FCA to move beyond experimental technology installations and begin widespread national and international screen dissemination.
To learn more about FCA’s formation and history, read the Farmers Irrigation District’s Case Study
. To learn more about FCA’s accomplishments, visit the Impact and Metrics