Headwaters Agriculture Sustainability Partnership
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.
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.
June member of the month Midwest Dairy is dedicated to sustainability in the dairy industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.