Perceptions about water quality and Minnesota farmers changing

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Perceptions about water quality and Minnesota farmers changing

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center was formed ten years ago.  And over the past decade, executive director Warren Formo says perceptions about farmers and water quality have changed.

“The big difference is that ten years ago we were spending a lot of time interacting with agencies like the Pollution Control Agency, and at that time they were generating a lot of reports that farmers felt were over-exaggerating or over-emphasizing the role of agriculture in our big picture of water pollution.”

Now, he tells Brownfield conversations with agencies like Pollution Control are different.

“And there’s greater recognition of many of the things that farmers are doing. Now that said, there’s still a lot of criticism, and we’re still being expected in agriculture to do even more. But at least today, we’re having a conversation that includes what’s working.”

Formo says the Minnesota Ag Water Resource Center was created by several state farm groups including the Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Soybean Growers, and Minnesota Farm Bureau to be a one-stop-shop to warehouse information about many types of water issues.