The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) certifies farmers for managing the land within their operation in a way that protects water quality. Area Certification Specialists assist farmers through the certification process. You can get started by contacting your local Soil and Water Conservation District, your Area Certification Specialist (see below), or contact us and we will follow up with you.

After you complete the program application a Certifying Agent will work with you on the assessment process, which includes an online assessment tool and on-farm field verification. Lastly, compliance with existing laws and rules needs to be complete when the certification agreement is signed.


Image of MAWQCP certified producers in field

From left to right: Sheila Boldt, Crow Wing SWCD; Steve Wentworth Sr; Steve Wentworth Jr; Jim Lahn, MAWQCP Area Certification Specialist; Brian Steffen, NRCS.


MAWQCP Endorsements

The MAWQCP has five Endorsements available to water quality certified producers: Climate Smart Farm, Soil Health, Integrated Pest Management, Wildlife, and Irrigation Water Management. Many conservation practices targeting water quality have benefits for other conservation goals, and the Endorsements provide additional recognition to water quality certified producers who are going above and beyond to implement conservation on their farms. Additionally, producers who obtain the Climate Smart Endorsement will receive a copy of the “Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Market Contracts in Minnesota” and are eligible for a $1,000 payment through the MAWQCP Climate Smart Farms Project.

Endorsements are available to producers who are water quality certified. Those who achieve an Endorsement will receive an additional sign for their farm and recognition for their conservation excellence. The MAWQCP partnered with various non-profit organizations, University of Minnesota, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and federal and state agencies to develop the criteria for the Endorsements.


MAWQCP Area Certification Specialists

Northwest: Glen Kajewski, East Polk SWCD,, 218-689-1502

North Central: Jim Lahn, East Otter Tail SWCD,, 218-346-4260 x122

Northeast: Ryan Clark, Carlton SWCD,, 218-384-3891 x6

West Central: Grant Pearson, Stearns SWCD,, 320-428-4374

South Central: Herman Bartsch, Cottonwood SWCD,, 507-344-3210

Southwest: Danielle Evers, Pipestone SWCD,, 507-825-1199

Southeast: Greg Klinger, Olmsted SWCD,, 507-328-7924

Metro: Will Bomier, MDA St. Paul,, 651-201-6141



MAWQCP logo, MDA logo, Clean Water, Land Legacy logo