The Cannon River Agricultural Collaborative celebrated it’s kick-off in September, during a field day near Northfield where members shared how they will help farmers plan, assess, and implement practices that provide soil, water, carbon, and economic benefits for their farms.
The Collaborative is a unique public-private-nonprofit partnership working together to implement conservation practices and improve agricultural sustainability in the Cannon River watershed.
Great River Greening has joined to share our expertise in ecological restoration, community outreach, volunteerism, and water resources management.
Other members include Cannon River One Watershed One Plan, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Central Farm Service, Environmental Initiative, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN™, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, Jennie-O Turkey, and Rice and Steele County Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
“You could call it a ‘roots-to-table’ referral network” said Brad Gordon, GRG’s Southern MN Program Manager. “Part of our goal is to streamline information and resource sharing on sustainable farming in Minnesota. We want to be a one-stop shop. If a farmer wants to know about easements, crop diversity, water quality certification, technology, just about anything, one of us can help.”
The collaborative will also recognize farmers for their stewardship efforts and share their successes to demonstrate the economic benefits of practices that protect and improve soil health and water quality.
The Cannon River watershed covers parts of six counties – Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Rice, Steele, and Waseca – and agriculture is the major land use in the watershed.
Photo: Cannon River Agricultural Collaborative members, from left, Brad Gordon, Great River Greening; Alan Kraus, Cannon River Watershed Partnership; Sienna Kampsen, CFS; Brad Jordahl Redlin, Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program; Teresa DeMars, Rice SWCD; Keith Parker, Great River Greening; Kristi Pursell, Cannon River Watershed Partnership; Greg Bohrer, Environmental Initiative; Haley Burns, Environmental Initiative; Ashley Gallagher, Dakota SWCD; Danielle Isaacson, Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program; Spencer Herbert, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. (Photo courtesy of Cannon River Agricultural Collaborative)