Farmers, residents and politicians gathered in a field outside of Blooming Prairie Monday, July 20, to discuss water quality, conservation and current policies.
The Southern Minnesota Land Use Expo took place at the Rodney Krell farm from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where attendees could learn about precision agriculture and equipment followed by a panel of local and state legislatures.
The panel included Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Rebecca Flood, Sen. Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna, Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester and Rep. David Bly, DFL-Northfield.
To no surprise, the buffer bill and its outcome was a main concern for attendees.
“Minnesota agricultural organizations stood shoulder to shoulder on this issue,” Frederickson said. “That made a difference. I can’t thank the soybean and corn growers enough for working together to come to an agreement.”
Water quality and practices was also a topic for discussion.
“When you drive down the road, you see good and bad farm management practices,” Frederickson said. “The issue is when we measure what’s coming off the ground, it’s not just looking at your farm and your good practices. We need to address those bad practices.”
Justin Krell, a farmer near Blooming Prairie, said that we all need to be held accountable in preserving the land and use county resources and programs to make the right decision.
Other issues discussed included the avian influenza response, young farmer programs, surface erosion and agriculture research.