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.
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.
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 offer hands-on art workshops with local artists. The Clay County Fair will hold hour-long classes with Melissa Kossick and Steve Stark, for both children and adults, on portrait-painting, painting with fingers, pointillism, collage, and local historical drawing. The project is meant to have lasting impact on participants by instilling interest and confidence in order to inspiring them to pursue more art projects on their own.
The Clay County Drainage Site is designed to evaluate the environmental impact of both surface and subsurface drainage from agricultural fields. This site includes six subsurface plots and one surface runoff plot, each approximately 24 acres in size. Monitoring stations are fully automated and each individual plot is monitored separately.The soils and topography across this demonstration site are virtually identical and represent field characteristics common in the most productive agricultural areas of the Red River Valley.
To create an area that will improve the visual impact of heritage hand-crafted arts, art (drawing/painting) and culinary departments and to create a demonstration area. Demonstration area will have a stage constructed for programs and presentations that allows an audience to learn and be inspired to preserve the heritage of various arts.
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.
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.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has partnered with the East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (EOT SWCD) to carry out a series of workshops and expand programs that promote proper water and nitrogen management.
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.
The objective of the project is to demonstrate controlled drainage and saturated buffers as flood mitigation practices as well as their water quality and quantity benefits. The project is intended to set a compelling example to increase the acceptance and adoption of drainage water management practices in the Red River Valley.Surface and subsurface runoff will be monitored, and water samples will be collected and analyzed for nitrate-nitrogen. Installations were completed in 2015-2016.
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.