MAWRC Encourages Farmers to Take Conservation Self-Evaluation

Spring is right around the corner, and Jeremy Geske of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center is reminding farmers to participate in the Green Star Farms Initiative, which is an online, self-evaluation tool.

MAWRC promotes Green Star as a safe, easy, confidential way to that can help demonstrate farmers are committed to being good stewards of our water and soil resources. The tool is designed for farmers and ranchers to critically evaluate their own conservation efforts without any government agency involvement. According to Geske, participation is important, because critics will use lack of participation as leverage to push for further regulation. The evaluation may also help farmers identify areas to improve and aid in their decision of whether to seek outside help or tackle those improvements on their own.

Geske said the Governor’s proposal of a 50-foot buffer requirement along all waters, the EPA proposed expansion of Clean Water Act rules, and state agencies proclaiming that farmers aren’t doing enough to protect water quality makes participation in the Green Star Farm Initiative that much more important.

Geske said the self evaluation takes about 20 minutes.

“You already know everything you need to complete the self-evaluation,” he said. “After all, who knows your farm better than you? It is easy, confidential, no government agency is involved, and no further action is required regardless of how you answer the questions.”

He said individual farm data will never be presented, only the averages of those participating.

To participate, visit greenstarfarms.org and click on “getting started”. For further assistance, contact Geske at 612-756-1200 or jeremy@mawrc.org.