Vote for Minnesota FarmWise – Help protect our rivers!

The Freshwater Society and the National Park Service have a great idea! Join us in making the Minnesota FarmWise program a success.

The MN Idea Open — a unique, public, grant-making competition — is focused on Water Issues in Minnesota. Over 100 ideas were submitted in this year’s MN Idea Open and have been narrowed down to three finalists. Ours is one of the three! YOU decide who gets the $15,000 prize by voting online.

Here’s our idea — Water resources in Minnesota are at risk due to how we use our land. The Minnesota River Valley is particularly endangered by both urban development and agricultural practices. Soils, manure, fertilizer, and other chemicals run off streets, farm fields and livestock yards, polluting our lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi, into which the Minnesota River drains. In turn, we send our water further downstream. The “dead zone” that is seen in the Gulf of Mexico most years starts with the Mississippi River here in Minnesota. The Minnesota FarmWise program will focus on agricultural influences on the watershed.

The Minnesota FarmWise program will identify the most vulnerable areas in the Minnesota River Valley, and work through existing community relationships to mentor, advise and implement farmer-proven and farmer-approved water-friendly practices that protect these critical, high-priority areas.

To learn more about our Minnesota FarmWise program, take a look at this video.


The Minnesota FarmWise program will recruit experienced active and retired farmers who have successfully implemented water-friendly farming techniques in their fields. These experienced farmers will act as ambassadors to other farmers. They will show these participating farmers how their own water-friendly practices were good for their production goals and their environmental goals, and will work with them to adopt water-friendly farming techniques on fields in vulnerable water areas.

Minnesota FarmWise partners believe that the expansion of water-friendly farming practices in this way will reduce soil loss and pollutant runoff in the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

In addition to building these farmer relationships, the program will link participating farmers to existing incentive programs, and pair them with researchers from local colleges and universities to gather detailed data on the impact of these new practices.

Please join us as we Work for Water by voting for the Minnesota FarmWise program at the MN Idea Open.

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