Category: Sustainability

MCGA student Agvocate highlights his family's efforts to protect water quality

Written by Sam Peterson

Water quality has become an increasingly heated issue surrounding agriculture in the last few years. On my family’s farm in Northfield, Minn., it has been a hot topic since I was born. My family is very concerned with the quality of the land we farm and that includes the quality of the water below and on the surface. We use many practices to help conserve the quality of water including buffer strips,

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New interactive online map makes it easy to learn more about conservation efforts of Minnesota farmers

Have you ever wondered why farmers leave a wide strip of lush green grasses in certain sections of their corn fields? Do you hear the terms “no-till” or “ridge-till” and wonder what they mean? Would you like to see pictures of a real buffer strips instead of just reading about them in the news?

Or maybe you simply want to see some up-close and personal photos of on-farm conservation efforts in the Land of 10,000 Lakes?

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Fore! Minnesota farm family combines passion for agriculture, conservation and golf

On their family farm near Northfield, Mike and Kay Peterson raise corn, soybeans, hogs and…golf balls.

Yes, golf balls.

Since 1991, a public driving range occupies a low area of land that once was home to soybeans on the Peterson’s nearly 100-year-old third generation family farm. A ball dispenser spits out a small or large bucket of balls to any wannabe Jack Nicklaus who wishes to work on his or her swing.

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Corn farmers fund research to help overcome obstacles to cover crops in Minnesota

It took a lot of experimenting before Bryan Biegler finally found success with cover crops on his farm near Lake Wilson in southwest Minnesota.

“We’re just now finding our spot with cover crops,” Biegler said. “We’re experimenting with different equipment and seeing what works for us.”

When it comes to cover crops, there are a lot of Minnesota farmers out there like Biegler. They see the soil fertility and water quality benefits cover crops provide,

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Minnesota corn farmer's CRP land buzzing with pollinator activity

When John Luepke turns off the engine on his 4-wheeler, he hears the steady buzz of pollinating bees on his farm near Courtland, Minn., in Nicollet County.

Luepke has enrolled a 20 acre section of his farm into USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which helps farmers plant species that improve environmental health on sensitive areas of land.  The colorful Blacked Eyed Susans and New England Astor flowers created a nearly perfect landscape for pollinating insects like bees.

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This week's Gophers Farm Family of the Game works to protect water and soil resources

Leon Schoenrock has been farming for 32 years. Over that time, he’s worked to improve his conservation efforts and seen many of his fellow farmers do the same.

Leon, his wife Beth, and their two children will be honored during Saturday’s Minnesota Gophers football game at TCF Bank Stadium as the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Homegrown Farm Family of the Game.

This is the third season that MCGA has partnered with Gophers football to recognize a homegrown Farm Family of the Game during all home football games.

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Conservation-minded farm family to be honored during Saturday’s Gophers football game

Dana Blume is proud of his family farm near Elbow Lake, Minn. On Saturday, Blume’s pride will be on display in front of a packed TCF Bank Stadium when Dana, his wife Katy, and their four children are honored as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Family of the Game when the Gophers take on Kent State.

Dana is a third-generation farmer and has grown corn, soybeans and sugar beets since 1996. His grandfather owned the local John Deere dealership and farming has always been in Dana’s blood.

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Proud Minnesota farm family to be honored during Gophers football season-opener

Over multiple generations, the Mackenthun family has strongly supported the University of Minnesota and championed Minnesota agriculture.

When the Minnesota Gophers football team opens its season against the TCU Horned Frogs on Thursday night, the Mackenthuns will be honored as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Family of the Game.

Merlin Mackenthun and his wife, Jan, met at the University of Minnesota. Merlin graduated in 1972 with a double degree in Agriculture Engineering Technology and Agriculture Economics.

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Corn Links: Buffer strips, algae blooms, data, and best-in-show

It’s Tuesday, the weather is warming up again, and harvest time is getting closer and closer. Here are a couple of must-read stories from the world of corn and farming that are worth checking out:

All buffers, all the time
Minnesota’s new buffer legislation remains a hot topic in the Minnesota farming community. Daniel Looker at examined the issue in a story today. It’s worth a read for the insight Looker provides on a couple of Farm Service Agency programs that may help farmers when complying with the new buffer regulations.

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“Conservation in Action” tour visits MCGA President's family farm

Four buses filled with national policymakers and conservation leaders rolled onto the Northfield family farm of Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson on Aug. 12 as part of the Conservation Technology Information Center’s (CTIC) “Conservation in Action Tour.”

Peterson’s farm was one of five stops on a tour of Southeastern Minnesota that highlighted the many conservation efforts of Minnesota farmers. The group learned more about what Peterson and his family do on their farm to protect soil health,

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