The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure, and is not duplicated by any other source of funding. The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses. Funds are used for proven practices that prevent non-point source water pollution or solve existing water quality problems.
To bring a variety of arts and cultural heritage programming to the Lincoln County Fair. The fair will host live jazz, folk and bluegrass bands, in addition to a clogging performance. A demonstration area will also be created in the Open Class Exhibits Building. In that space, an artist will present on drawing and painting, and attendees can make their own art at the fair with provided supplies.
To promote the preservation of agricultural history, education and diversity at the Ramsey County Fair by showcasing traditional Hmong dances, square dancers, a fife and drum corp, and Agricadabra, a show which featurs agricultural facts and magic.
To enhance fair visitors' ability to view local artwork at the Freeborn County Fair, by installing track lighting and purchasing new display cases for 2-D and 3-D exhibits in the Creative Arts and Crafts building. Funds will also be used to bring new programming to the fair. Ben Franklin will live at the fair and converse with visitors, bringing with him historically accurate replicas of furniture, clothing, and cookware. Visitors can watch or participate in building a log cabin with turn of the century tools.
To enhance Lincoln County Fair's capacity to host diverse programming by purchasing a stage. A stage would create a performance area outside of the grandstand, allowing for more programming at the fair. Currently, there is not a space for dance performances or performances with multiple singers. The stage would elevate the event to attract attention and allow for greater visibility, but be low enough to allow for audience interaction.
To construct a multi-purpose building for music, theater, entertainment, and artistic demonstrations. The structure will be designed to enhance the quality of sound and the visibility of the artists who perform on stage for the audience.
The MDA partnered with the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) and University of Minnesota researchers to collect information about fertilizer use and farm management. Surveys were conducted over the phone. NASS staff are highly skilled at obtaining critical information over the phone with minimal time and burden on the producer.In 2011, the survey focused on the southeast region of Minnesota. The survey was designed to gather information about nitrogen fertilizer rates, timing of nitrogen application and use of nitrogen inhibitors.
To increase the Steele County Fair's capacity to showcase children's art by purchasing new display materials. Portable wall panels will allow work to be hung in a gallery type fashion, and offer more surface area to display children's art.
To better highlight local talent by making the exhibits of the creative activities more visible and engaging to fair visitors. Funds will be used to improve lighting by upgrading wiring and fixtures, adding electrical hookups to allow spotlights on specific displays, and installing a glass board.
To provide opportunities to Pine County artists to show their talents to the 30,000 attendees of the Pine County Fair. Funds will cover 30 hours of arts programming, consisting of demonstrations and workshops, and 30 hours of music by local musicians. Additionally, a sun shade will be purchased to encourage visitors to stay for programming.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
To construct a portable stage that can be used for arts, cultural heritage, and Minnesota history programming at different fairground locations, and to commission a local artist to paint a mural depicting fair related activities.
To improve lighting in the the building that houses horticulture and FFA projects at the Dodge County Free Fair. Funds will also be used to construct a mobility ramp, allowing fairgoers with mobility restrictions to access exhibits showcasing local work.
To enhance the Creative Arts building on the fairgrounds in order to improve the arts experience for fairgoers. The Freeborn County Fair will replace archaic lighting, add glass display cabinets, add a new display area of pre-school art, and provide musical performances.
To host a variety of arts and cultural heritage activities at the Hennepin County Fair, and enhance the display area for fine arts exhibits. The fair will host a bluegrass band, a MN original singer/songwriter, a storyteller, and a variety of arts demonstrations.
To offer several demonstrations throughout the fair to educate fairgoers on key parts of Minnesota’s history and how these aspects contributed to the economic and agricultural status of the state. Programming will include a lumberjack show and the Iron Will dog sled exhibit.
To offer aspects of Minnesota’s heritage that fairgoers normally would not be able to enjoy. The Hennepin County Fair offered performances and demonstrations in storytelling, clogging, old time string music, blacksmith, potter, dog sled, textile creation, knitting, weaving and wood carving. The storyteller, Bob Gasch, told and acted out stories about Minnesota’s settlement period including Johnny Appleseed, and more and the cloggers demonstrated a historical style of dance from the early settlement of Minnesota.
To increase and enhance arts and cultural heritage programming at the Houston County Fair. Funds will be used to upgrade an existing stage, install a display case to exhibit artistic and creative works of people with disabilities, and host the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble. The Ensemble will educate children and families about Scandinavian music and dances.
To provide heritage music and arts programming for school age children at the fair. The Houston County Fair enhanced their sound system and introduced a Polka band. The objective of this project is to enhance the arts with the involvement of the youth and preserve the history of the fair.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lakes states. It was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009 and is now found in four counties (Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey, and Winona). EAB poses a particularly serious threat to Minnesota because it is home to nearly 1 billion ash trees that occur throughout the state - the second most of any state.
Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.
To enhance fairgoers experience of arts performances by adding a backstage curtain to the stage. Funds will also be used to feature arts demonstrations by the Milan Village Arts School, and the Iron Will dogsled exhibit.
This project was part of a three-state partnership to test, demonstrate and promote a simple, inexpensive and reliable new system for edge-of-field water monitoring. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm, in collaboration with UW-Platteville Engineering, has developed a low cost monitoring system that can obtain good quality, edge-of-field monitoring data in agricultural settings. By eliminating unnecessary features and assembling components in-house, the prototype monitoring system derives the majority of cost savings with minimal sacrifice in accuracy.
Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.
To enhance fairgoers experience of arts programming at the Pine County Fair. A new sound system and sun screen for the arts and culture stage will allow the fair to bring more diverse events and artisans to the fair. These additions will allow the fair to offer several bands that play historic music, a chainsaw artist, and a cattle dog demonstration.
To improve access to the historic 1918 barn on the fairgrounds by adding ventilation and cooling. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the barn once served as the county poor farm. Today, it's home to various 4-H and youth programming.
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ramsey County Fair by providing new history programming. The fair will feature demonstrations of "lost arts" such as canning, quilting, and woodwork, in addition to creating a video featuring fair history and a written narrative.
To provide a variety of programming at the Winona County Fair that preserves and promotes Minnesota's history and cultural heritage. Art demonstrations will feature painting, watercolor, drawing, oils, spinning, weaving, and quilting. Visitors will be able to view antique tractors and learn about their history and restoration process. Children can watch a marionette show and learn about ventriloquism. The fair will feature a bluegrass band and a dog sledding display.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is a collaborative effort led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in partnership with Fillmore, Mower, and the Root River Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local farmers, crop advisers, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, and the Nature Conservancy. Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:
To highlight past agricultural practices at the Steele County Fair. The Milk Buds are an eight horse miniature hitch, and will stroll the fairgrounds on a regular schedule to showcase a time when horses and hitches were a key method to moving freight in the country. The fair will also rebuild display cases and tables for their Organic Crops department. All displayed crops are certified organic and will feature the ways crops were grown over 50 years ago.
To improve the lighting in the arts area that features textiles, photography, culinary, gardening and hobbies exhibits, and the antique automobiles display area. Funds will also be used to hire a strolling performer during the fair.
To preserve the one room schoolhouse on the fairgrounds. The Little Red Schoolhouse will need painting, window repair, and electrical upgrades. The Winona County Historical Society will help organize materials for programming and exhibiting.
Funds will also improve lighting in two art exhibit buildings.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has designed a Township Testing Program to determine current nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in private wells on a township scale. The MDA has identified townships throughout the state that are vulnerable to groundwater contamination (because of local geology or shallow groundwater) and have significant row crop production. These are the counties that will be prioritized for Township Testing.