The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a $100,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation to help farmers develop climate-smart farming practices that can mitigate  climate change, build farm resiliency, and may provide them with a new income stream. 

The money will be used for the new Climate Smart Farms Project, part of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP). 

“Because of our changing climate, farmers are experiencing more frequent bouts of drought, heavier rain events, extreme temperature swings,  and more invasive pests and plants,” said MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen. 

“Through this new Climate Smart Farms Project and the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program, farmers can implement proven practices that build soil health, protect water resources, and increase farm profitability. Farmers are at the frontlines of climate change impact and can play a pivotal role in combatting those impacts. We’re grateful to McKnight Foundation for this grant.” 

Options to enroll in new carbon market programs have been multiplying in the agricultural community. 

In response, the MDA created the Climate Smart Farms Project, centering farmers’ needs and their leadership on science-based farming practices. 

The unique project provides growers one-to-one technical assistance to assess their operations and develop climate-smart management options that will best align with private market tools or voluntary public programs. 

The annual financial assistance serves as a bridge payment for growers while they develop their climate-smart systems and learn how to scale climate-smart practices. 

“Farmers in Minnesota are digging in and taking the lead on agricultural climate  solutions,” said Tenzin Dolkar, McKnight Foundation Midwest Climate & Energy Program Officer. 

“The Climate Smart Farms Project will allow more farmers to adopt and be recognized for proven practices that benefit their operation, the environment, and the climate.” 

There are now more than 1,225 producers and 855,000 acres enrolled in MAWQCP. 

Governor Tim Walz has announced a goal of enrolling one million acres by the end of 2022. 

To date, Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality certified farms have added over 2,460 new conservation practices. 

Those new practices have kept over 42,000 tons of sediment out of Minnesota rivers while saving approximately 124,000 tons of soil and 54,000 pounds of phosphorous on farms each year. 

The conservation practices have also reduced nitrogen loss up to 49% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 47,000 metric tons per year.

Events Calendar

Calendar of Events

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

S Sun

2 events,

6 events,

7 events,

4 events,

5 events,

4 events,

6 events,

3 events,

6 events,

5 events,

7 events,

4 events,

2 events,

4 events,

2 events,

4 events,

3 events,

5 events,

3 events,

3 events,

4 events,

1 event,

5 events,

3 events,

2 events,

2 events,

1 event,

3 events,

0 events,

2 events,

1 event,

1 event,

1 event,

1 event,

3 events,