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.
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.
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.
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 recognize outstanding senior citizens in Sibley County. Attendees can listen to a polka band and watch the awards ceremony. Funds will also be used to upgrade stage lighting and install a sound system to enhance the programming.
Additionally, funds will enhance the fine arts exhibits in the Horticulture Building. Upgraded lighting and new display cases will improve the visibility of photography, quilt and needlework entries.
To construct an Arts and Heritage Center on the fair grounds. The Sibley County Fair will erect an Arts and Heritage Center with a 40 foot stage and two dressing rooms. The building will primarily serve as an educational arts and culture center for the fair. The fair will present acts on the stage from six to eight hours per day during the fair.
To rehabilitate the original horse racing judges’ stand. The stand is the last relic of the 143 year old fair grounds and dates back to the late 1800’s. The stand is comprised of a first story entry and refreshment area, and an upper section for judging the races. It’s 360 degree observation of the track was made possible by its hexagon shape and large doors that could be lifted when needed on each side. This is the first stage of the multi-year restoration of this prized building and is an important part of the plan to initiate a daily educational program at the fair.
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.
To construct an amphitheater on the Wadena County fairgrounds. The amphitheater will be available to the community for cultural and education events sponsored by the Wadena County Agricultural Society, local community groups, schools, etc.
To offer new arts access and cultural heritage programming to both children and adults at the Wadena County Fair. Programming will include demonstrations in depression era toy making, finger knitting, bead work, leather work, growing container gardens, and a presentation on hoop dance, a Native American cultural performance.