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Listening session in St. Cloud to focus on new ag water quality program

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will hold a listening session in St. Cloud on Thursday, February 28, to gather input on the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. The new program has been in development over the past year and is designed to accelerate voluntary adoption of on-farm agricultural practices that enhance water quality.

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Under the program, farmers would voluntarily implement and maintain approved conservation plans and receive assurance that their operations meet water quality goals and standards. In return, they would not be required to implement additional water quality practices for the duration of their certification.

MDA officials are seeking feedback on the program prior to its implementation. Farmers and rural landowners in the central region of the state are encouraged to attend the session, Thursday, February 28, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the MNDOT Training Center, just off Highway 15 at 3725 12th Street North.

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is the result of a state-federal partnership that includes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 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).

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