Headwaters Agriculture Sustainability Partnership


Central Minnesota


2018 - present


Farmers, watershed districts


Headwaters Agriculture Sustainability Partnership solutions benefit the environment, economic viability of farmers, and vitality of rural communities. This partnership is a forum where innovative ideas can be considered, supported, accelerated, and implemented with the partnership’s diverse experience, skills, and networks.

Three partner-led projects are underway.

  • Eleven farmers are participating in the Return on Investment Case Study project in Stearns County, Minnesota. A 2021 data report (PDF) is now available. The project analyzes the relationship between on-farm conservation and finances on row crop and integrated dairy operations. Farmers are also engaged in peer-to-peer education. Six farm operations are highlighted in Tools & Guides.
  • All Acres for Our Water brings together public and private technical expertise, agronomic intelligence, and financial resources to enhance and restore natural resources in Minnesota. The team led a farmer outreach campaign in 2021. In 2020, the program released a series of information videos on conservation practices, connected with regional agriculture retailers, and surveyed landowners on the barriers to conservation practice adoption.
  • The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) Pilot project will test the protocols and data processes of ESMC, a program to provide financial incentives to encourage farmers to implement practices that improve soil health, store carbon in soils, and reduce nutrient runoff.

Steering Committee

photo of two men on a farm with an ipad

On-farm Experts

Our Experts

Contact us to support and expand farmer-led, innovative, and quantifiable solutions designed to improve water quality, soil health, and natural habitat.

Ariel Kagan

Ariel Kagan

Director, Agriculture Strategy she/her Office: 612-334-3388 ext. 8112

Agriculture News

Our role in Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework

The Walz Administration has released their Climate Action Framework, a vision for how Minnesota will address and prepare for climate change. Mike Harley shares examples of Environmental Initiative's commitments to collaborative action.

Member of the Month: Midwest Dairy

June member of the month Midwest Dairy is dedicated to sustainability in the dairy industry.

Markets needed to support on-farm conservation efforts

Attendees ventured to St. Cloud, Minn. for the Headwater’s Agriculture Sustainability Partnership’s (HASP) Profit Through Conservation forum to discuss ways to financially support farmers implementing conservation practices. A key barrier to adopting these practices – which can improve water quality, soil health, and sequester carbon in the ground – is a clear economic incentive for farmers. 

See All News

Return on Investment Case Studies

Eleven farmers with row crop or integrated dairy operations are participating in a multi-year project which analyzes the relationship between on-farm conservation and finances over time.

Mergen Farm: HASP Return on Investment

Ben Mergen shares his insights on working into incorporating conservation practices on a farm. Explore the ways he has found sustainable practices that increase his farm's productivity and profits.

Kuechle Dairy: HASP Return on Investment

The Kuechle siblings operate a third-generation dairy farm, plan to add cover crops into their rotation, and want to learn more about resources from partners and other farmers in the HASP return-on-investment program.

Blue Diamond Dairy: HASP Return on Investment

The Frericks of Blue Diamond Dairy believe everything they do is conservation minded. Explore the ways this first-generation dairy-farming family has implemented sustainable practices to increase productivity and profits.

Our Partners

Our Funders