Livestock Environmental Quality Assurance Program (LEQA)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
Ag Resource Strategies, LLC
Recipient Type
For-Profit Business/Entity
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2009
End Date
June 2011
Activity Type
Assessment/Evaluation
Demonstration/Pilot Project
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Technical Assistance
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chapter 172, Article 2, Sec. 2
Appropriation Language

(d) $695,000 the first year and $1,570,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance related to ways agricultural practices contribute to restoring impaired waters and assist with the development of TMDL plans. Of this amount, $150,000 each year is for grants to livestock environmental quality assurance program to develop resource management plans, provide resource management analysis and assistance, provide an implementation plan, and provide for annual reporting on water quality assessments and reasonable assurance of the water quality effects for the purpose of TMDL plans, including an assurance walk-through for farms enrolled in the program. By December 15, 2010, the commissioner of agriculture shall submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture and environment policy and finance on the activities of the livestock environmental quality assurance program. The report shall include: (1) the number of farms enrolled; (2) an analysis of the estimated water quality improvements to enrolled farms; and (3) an analysis of the ability to provide reasonable assurance of the water quality effects.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of livestock producers involved in the LEQA program
  • Number of acres assessed in the LEQA program
  • Number of environmentally sensitive acres assessed in the LEQA program
  • Number of resource concerns identified during LEQA assessments

 Minnesota state agencies are working together to establish and report outcome-based performance measures that monitor the progress and effectiveness of Clean Water Fund activities. This inter-agency group completed a report in February 2012, Clean Water Fund Performance Report. At the heart of the report is a suite of quantifiable performance measures.A performance measurement is the regular collection and reporting of data to track work produced and results achieved.Regarding the LEQA program, MDA is reporting on performance measure FM4:Total dollars awarded in grants and contracts to non-state agency partners.

Description of Funds
Funding amount awarded in a contract to Ag Resource Strategies, LLC.
Recipient Board Members
Tim Gieseke is the founder and president of Ag Resource Strategies, LLC. Tim can be contacted by visiting their website at http://www.agresourcestrategies.com/contact.php.
Project Overview

LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects. This voluntary program helps livestock farms and ranchers achieve their environmental goals.

For more information about this program, visit Agricultural Resource Strategies' LEQA web page.

About the Issue

Trained LEQA technicians will assess:

Farm

- Waterbody management

- Community image

- Wildlife habitat

Farmstead

- Fuel and chemical storage

- Water and well

- Waste Disposal

Feedlot & Livestock

- Water run-on and run-off

- Animal cleanliness

- Feed and silage storage

- Manure storage and handling

- MinnFarm feedlot assessment

Fields and Pastures

- Cropping system

- Manure and fertility

- Soil and water

- Buffered set-backs

Forests and Wooded Areas

- Wildlife benefits

Project Details

Beginning in February 2010, 105 livestock producers voluntarily registered for the LEQA II program assessment. The 105 farms contained 47,529 acres, 55,215 animal units, and 506 environmentally sensitive areas. These assessments led to the identification of 728 resource concerns and approximately $2 million of federal and state conservation program applications. Conservation activities were applied toward 474 (65%) of those 728 concerns and included petroleum and pesticide management issues, wellhead management, manure storage and management, stream buffer strips and soil quality improvements. Eight of the 105 farms reached the "Clean Water Legacy" goal with an additional 86 producers receiving assistance toward the certification goal. The whole farm assessments costs averaged $4.20/acre or about
$2000 per farm. Certification Assistance funds ($84,000) were used to assist the producers in reaching the water quality goals.

Project Manager
First Name
Curt
Last Name
Zimmerman
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Street Address
625 Roberts Street North
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
651-201-6456
Email
Curt.Zimmerman@state.mn.us
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications

Not Applicable

Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Not Applicable