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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Water Protection > Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program

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The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years.

Through this program, certified producers receive:

  • Regulatory certainty: certified producers are deemed to be in compliance with any new water quality rules or laws during the period of certification
  • Recognition: certified producers may use their status to promote their business as protective of water quality
  • Priority for technical assistance: producers seeking certification can obtain specially designated technical and financial assistance to implement practices that promote water quality 

Through this program, the public receives:

  • Assurance that certified producers are using conservation  practices to protect Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams

Program Background

Advisory Committee

Become a Certified Farm!

Assistant Commissioner Matthew Wohlman with certified farmers in the Whiskey Creek pilot area.This program certifies farmers for managing the land within their operation in a way that protects water quality. Local conservation professionals assist farmers through the certification process. Begin by contacting your local Soil and Water Conservation District or a local Certifying Agent.  A Program Application will need to be completed to begin the process but certification of compliance with existing laws and rules will not need to be complete until the Certification Agreement is signed.  The Certifying Agent will work with you to complete the assessment process.

The first step of this process is the Assessment Tool To prepare for this it will be helpful to gather some information about the management of your operation.  A Farm Producer Data Report and maps of all the tracts in your farm operation may be obtained at your FSA office.  Other information helpful for the assessment includes soil test reports, nutrient application information, manure tests and application records as well as pesticide records.  This Data Collection Guide can be useful in knowing what the assessment will cover.  The Certifier will also need to conduct a field review of your farm to look for erosion or other potential impacts to water quality.  Remedies to any issues found will need to be included in the certification agreement.  Whenyour whole farm operation meets program standards it will be eligible to become a Water Quality Certified Farm.

View the online assessment tool.

Assessment Process

Assistant Commissioner Matthew Wohlman with certified farmer in Middle Sauk River pilot area.Stay Connected

In the News

MAWQCP Brochure (PDF: 2.27 MB / 2 pages)

Sign up to receive program updates on the MAWQCP Email List.

Email questions and comments to





Logos for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.

MDA Contact

Brad Redlin, Program Manager