Brown County producers are becoming water quality certified by participating in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP).

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program 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.

There are several benefits to producers for becoming certified.

  1. Certified producers receivepriority access to financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices that protect water quality.
  2. Certified producers are presumed to be in compliance with any new water quality rules or laws that may be developed by the state during their 10-year certification period.
  3. Certified producers receive recognition from the community that they are doing their part to protect Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.
  4. Producers receive a $100 incentive payment for completing the assessment, and an additional $200 for becoming certified.

The certification process includes an application, whole farm assessment, and field verification. The application is a self-verification by producers that they are meeting existing Minnesota laws and regulations regarding water quality. After completing the application, producers will work through a whole farm assessment with a local conservation professional. The assessment covers six areas of farm management including: Physical Field Characteristics, Pest Management, Nutrient Management, Irrigation and Tile Drainage, Tillage, and Conservation Practices. Lastly, a field verification is conducted to ensure that all water quality concerns have been addressed.

As of 9/11/2023 there are 1,384 certified farms in Minnesota, 110 in south-central Minnesota, and 4 in Brown County. If you are interested in becoming a water quality certified farm, please contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District, Brown SWCD, at 507-794-2553. We will discuss any questions you may have about the program and explain how to proceed with an application. 

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