Voluntary participation in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program is picking up steam. More and more producers are getting involved.
Mike Hanson of Good-Vue Ayrshire near Goodridge said there’s a lot more scrutiny on farmers today. He believes a lot of it has to do with the fact that less than 1 percent of producers are responsible for producing most of the agriculture products we use today.
This scrutiny, and the regulations that seem to follow, is one of the reasons Hanson is participating in the Water Quality Certification process. It ensures compliance with existing water quality regulations and provides the producer 10-years of protection from new water quality laws and regulations.
Farmers, like Hanson, however, have also stated they see the value of protecting water quality and believe their efforts help protect Minnesota’s ground and surface waters. It benefits them, their families, consumers and Minnesota.
Glen Kajewski, an Area Certification Specialist, works in 12 Soil and Water Conservation District in northwest Minnesota.
“The Minnesota Agricultural Water Program is a voluntary program available for ag land owners in Minnesota and has no size limitations,” said Kajewski. “In northwest Minnesota, some of the largest farm operations with several thousand acres, and one of the smallest operations at just over five acres have been certified.
“For me,” said Kajewski, “one of the big strengths of this program is that it is voluntary and if they complete the assessment on their farm operation and become certified they end up with a contract with the State of Minnesota that says they will be considered in compliance with any current and any new water quality rules that will impact their operation for the next 10 years. That 10 years of certainty is pretty important in these rapidly changing times. In addition it recognizes farmers for the job they’re doing to protect and improve water quality.”
Read the complete story in May 12 edition of the Northern Watch. Visitors to this website can also listen to an interview with Mike and Linda Hanson, and Glen Kajewski.