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800,000+ Acres Certified in the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program

In November, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) has no certified 1,141 farms on 800,915 acres statewide in Minnesota. Of those acres and farms, in the West Central Technical Service Area, there are 251 farms certified on 176,831 acres.

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program:

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years.

Through this program, certified producers receive:

  • Regulatory certainty: certified producers are deemed to be in compliance with any new water quality rules or laws during the period of certification

  • Recognition: certified producers may use their status to promote their business as protective of water quality

  • Priority for technical assistance: producers seeking certification can obtain specially designated technical and financial assistance to implement practices that promote water quality

Through this program, the public receives:

  • Assurance that certified producers are using conservation practices to protect Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams

This is a program available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) with assistance from Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state. The Stearns County SWCD is taking applications on an continual basis for enrollment into MAWQCP. Each producer that signs up works one-on-one with our certification specialist Mark Lefebvre. The program provides a review of each field. The information gained in the process can aid producers in making important management decisions.

Third Street Brewhouse Partnership:

We are proud to partner with Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring to sponsor MAWQCP. Third Street Brewhouse believes “Great Water = Great Beer” and awards each certified farm with a gift of their product, Minnesota Gold Lager. Those who are interested in becoming Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certified can contact the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District office to start the application process.

One-Million-Acre Goal:

Last December, the goal was set of reaching one-million-certified acres by the end of 2022.

The MAWQCP is funded by the Clean Water Fund, which is derived from one-third of the additional sales tax authorized by the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

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