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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Water Protection > Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program > Minutes and Agendas > March 31, 2017 Meeting Minutes

March 31, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Advisory Committee Meeting

Date: Friday, March 31, 2017
Time: 9:30 am - 2:00 pm

Orville Freeman Building
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN  55155

(Copy of the PPT available upon request to mda.mawqcp@state.mn.us.)

Welcome and Introductions: Brad Redlin began the meeting welcoming the committee, facilitating introductions and noting the 'rules of the road'.

Committee members attending were:

  • Joe Smentek, MN Soybean Growers Association
  • Dennis Fuchs, Stearns SWCD
  • Paul Freeman, Certified Farmers/MSFA Past President
  • Becky Kenow, Land O'Lakes, Inc.
  • Paul Sweeney, Ecosystem Services Exchange
  • Lucas Sjostrom, Midwest Dairy
  • Marcie O'Shaughnessy, Syngenta
  • Marguerite Tan, Hormel
  • Thom Peterson, MN Farmers Union
  • Mark Muller, The McKnight Foundation


  • Jason Garms, MN Department of Natural Resources
  • Glen Skuta, MN Pollution Control Agency
  • Susan Stokes, MN Department of Agriculture
  • Matt Wohlman, MN Department of Agriculture
  • Dave Frederickson, MN Department of Agriculture
  • Kris Van Amber, Facilitator


  • Brad Redlin, Program Manager
  • Bill Fitzgerald, Field Operations and Training Coordinator
  • Peter Gillitzer, Assessment and Research Coordinator
  • Craig McDonnell, Program Development Specialist
  • Marcie Weinandt, Program Coordinator

Commissioner Frederickson welcomed the new 2017-18 MAWQCP Advisory Committee to their first meeting.  Brad Redlin reviewed this meeting’s objectives to build a personal and group understanding of the MAWQCP committee’s history and purpose and to meet committee colleagues and begin to understand their perspectives.   To do so, each member introduced themselves with name, representation and what place of image comes to mind when you think about Minnesota’s strong farming and water protection heritage.

Charge to the Advisory Committee:  Brad Redlin introduced the charge for the 2017-2018 Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) Advisory Committee.  That charge is to provide Commissioner Frederickson and MAWQCP program staff with strategic advice and recommendations for growing the MAWQCP to serve farmers and ranchers, the agricultural industry, and the nation’s water resources.  Committee membership as sought and selected to serve on the 2017-2018 MAWQCP Advisory Committee shall apply their experience and expertise to identify:

  • Means to integrate and align the MAWQCP in support and advancement of private sector sustainablility goals and initiatives;
  • Means to promote participation via mechanisms and among communities and growers not engaged via current program delivery operations

Each member was then asked for one questions that they would like answered now or during their term.  The following is a list of the questions.

  • How many producers have had to change some practices to get certified and what were those practices?
  • What resources and people will be needed to meet 1 million acres by 2019 goal?
  • How does this advisory committee make recommendations?
  • Road block of communication alternative to buffer bill-how to get the word out
  • How do we/you document additional WQ improvements - 2, 5, 10 years?
  • How does the MAWQCP expand across the Midwest?
  • How does this program make farmers lives better-integrate regulatory/private?
  • Why aren't people already doing this (conservation practices) and what are the barriers and incentives?
  • What value does this bring to Producers? Why do they say yes? Why do people say no?
  • What values is there in the State of Minnesota- $ for program/ROI?
  • What plan is there to indicate impact on water quality?

MAWQCP Overview:  Brad Redlin and the staff of MAWQCP provided the members with an extensive overview of the program from its inception to include background and status, program operations, assessment process and partners. 

Following lunch, the committee discussed what they wanted to learn and achieve over their term expiring June 30, 2018.  Meeting the producers and seeing the process first hand was a unanimous request.  Staff will schedule two farm tours during the summer and will follow the next advisory committee meeting in September.

Meeting ended at 2:00 PM