The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary program designed to accelerate adoption of on-farm conservation practices that protect Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Producers who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn assured that their operation meets the state’s water quality goals and standards for a period of 10 years.
Through this program, certified producers receive:
Through this program, the public receives:
The program is the product of a state-federal partnership that includes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on January 17, 2012, by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. This document formalizes the state-federal partnership and confirms the joint commitment to developing and implementing the program.
MAWQCP will be in a pilot phase in four areas across the state to further refine details of the program and gather feedback from local producers and conservation professionals. All producers that farm within the four pilot areas are now eligible for certification. This pilot process will last up to three years. The program will be open statewide following the pilot period.
The pilot areas include: Elm Creek in Faribault, Jackson, and Martin counties, the Middle Sauk River in Stearns County, Whiskey Creek in Otter Tail and Wilkin counties, and the Whitewater River in Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties.
Pilot areas were recommended by local organizations and selected through a competitive application process. Pilot areas are located in four distinct regions of the state; these areas represent a diversity of Minnesota’s agricultural landscapes and cropping systems, differences in water resource concerns and also leverage the strength of existing local partnerships.
Watch the video of the MAWQCP pilot area announcement on the MDA YouTube page.
The signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding, which established the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, agreed to form an Advisory Committee to develop the program. The Committee’s role was to provide diverse and substantive input in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of Agriculture on the development and implementation of the program. Formal records are kept of meetings to record the input, concerns and recommendations of members.
This committee completed a series of meetings and delivered recommendations to the MDA Commissioner in November 2012. The committee submitted a series of recommendations presented in seven position papers. The Commissioner has used the recommendations in making final determinations about the program details and implementation process. The advisory committee will continue to serve at key steps of the process to review the program.
Sign up on the MAWQCP Email List to receive email updates with the latest information on the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Redlin, Program Manager
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, email@example.com