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.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a Joint Powers Agreement with Wadena County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Wadena County SWCD is partnering with 13 counties that make up the "Central Sands" region.
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 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 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.
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.
To provide events that highlight local culture and history. The Grant County Fair will feature the Iron Will dog sledding exhibit, host a performance by a local band, have a wool spinning demonstration, and display a seed sack exhibit.
The Nitrogen Rate Study on Coarse-Textured Soil (N Rate Study) was done in 2015-2018 by the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Central Lakes College (CLC) at CLC’s farm in Staples, MN. The study examined nitrogen fertilizer rates for corn on sandy soil—with and without irrigation. The study specifically considered potential nitrogen loss from dryland corn versus irrigated corn and was established after the U of M released new nitrogen rate guidelines in early 2015.
To provide an outdoor performance and demonstration space in the highest traffic area of the fairgrounds, which is located between the 4-H Exhibit, Open Class Exhibit, and the Rock County Historical Society Exhibits buildings. The fair plans to hold Dutch Oven cooking demonstrations, Buffalo Days celebrations, and dance performances in this area.
To restore Rock County Fair's Floral Hall. Built in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Rock County Fair will restore its interior. Funding will not only preserve this historic building, but also create an enhanced space to showcase regional artwork.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working with partners at the Rosholt Research Farm in Westport, Minnesota to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices and the associated water quality impacts on irrigated, sandy soils.
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.