Minnesota Ag. Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a completely voluntary program that helps landowners and farmers do everything they can to keep protecting our state’s streams lakes and rivers. Farmers are the original stewards of our soil and water. They can use MAWQCP to gauge their progress in protecting water quality and preserving it for generations to come. To become certified: the first step, application, is a self-verification by landowners that they are meeting state laws and regulations regarding water quality. The next step, assessment, takes it further by examining each field for its physical characteristics, management of nutrients, tillage, pests, irrigation, tile drainage, and current conservation practices. On a 10-point scale, each field must score a water quality index of 8.5 or higher to be eligible for certification. The lower the number, the more the field poses a potential risk to water quality. If a field scores below 8.5 the certifier begins working with the landowner or operator to identify areas of potential improvement to achieve a certifying score. Certification includes an on-site field-by-field assessment. The program has been available statewide since the summer of 2016. Since then over 1,141 farms certified on over 800,000 acres now certified statewide. The benefits of being a water quality certified farm includes “regulatory certainty”, which means they are automatically deemed compliant with any new water quality rules or laws for ten years from certification which gives certified producers a longer period of time to plan for and comply with new regulations. Another benefit comes in the form of recognition; certified farms can use their status as a way to promote their business as water quality conscious. Producers working toward certification also receive priority for technical and financial assistance to implement practices that promote water quality. Certified producers also have access to exclusive funding pools. Learn More

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program Endorsements

Endorsements Description

Douglas SWCD Recipients:

Please click on the names below to enjoy their story of how they became certified in the program.

2021: Ben Wagner, Christian Nelson, David and Polly Christianson