Category: Sustainability

MCGA Radio: Warren Formo talks Discovery Farms Minnesota

On this week’s Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Radio, Warren Formo from the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center provides an update on Discovery Farms Minnesota.

Formo also highlights a series of feature stories we’re doing here at MinnesotaCornerstone.com to profile the farmers who participate in Discovery Farms Minnesota.

Listen to Formo’s interview below, then catch up on the feature stories here, here and here.

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Why do Minnesota corn farmers partner with Gophers Sports?

On Monday, Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey coach Don Lucia kicked off the first Gophers Speaker Series sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

The event was an opportunity for about 75 Gophers season ticket holders and Twin Cities business leaders to hear from Lucia (along with senior forward Travis Boyd) in an intimate setting away from the spotlight of television cameras and beat reporters.

Sponsoring the Gophers Speaker Series is one of several ways Minnesota corn farmers partner with Gophers Sports.

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Discovery Farms Profile: Measuring up to a high standard in water quality means the world to Simonsen family

written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For years, Diamond Lake has been the summer gathering place for the Simonsen family. Four years ago Paul and Janet built a house there to replace the family cabin. Fishing, swimming and jet skiing all have their devotees among the three generations.

So Paul and Janet Simonsen, who farm in Renville County, are very conscious about water quality.

That might be the top reason they decided to sign on with the farmer-funded research program called Minnesota Discovery Farms — 11 different farm operations across Minnesota,

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Unique conservation project uses cedar trees to stop streambank erosion

In an effort to help stabilize the stream bank and restore aquatic habitat in Riceford Creek in Houston County, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association is supporting a unique conservation project.

Researchers and work crews from Winona State University, The Nature Conservancy and Conservation Corps Minnesota are stacking red cedar trees along sections of the stream bank susceptible to erosion.

The trees help absorb a lot of the energy from the flowing water,

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This is what happens when fish are in your corn field

written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Steve Lindstrom, who farms near the Cannon River in Welch, lost a 94 acre field of corn and soybeans to the heavy rains that hit the state in mid-June. KSTP-TV news showed video of the field looking like a lake, complete with fish swishing and jumping around.

He’s not alone. Many farmers across the state experienced washouts, and others had such persistent rains they never got into the field to plant.

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MCGA signs coalition letter to prevent WOTUS rule implementation

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is one of 23 Minnesota farm and business organizations signing a letter supporting bipartisan bill H.R. 5078, Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014.

H.R. 5078 will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing and adopting the proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The letter was sent to Minnesota’s congressional and senate delegation.

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Fifth-generation farmers to be honored at Gophers football home opener

by Jonathan Eisenthal

Kirby Hettver represents the fifth generation of his family to farm in Chippewa County, 20 miles west of Willmar. Kirby, wife Mandi and daughters Amelia (8) and Hazelee (6) will be honored Thursday night as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Team Family when the Gophers open their football season against Eastern Illinois at 6 p.m. on Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Hettver’s are being honored because of their commitment to take care of the land they farm.

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Nitrate sample testing offered by MAWRC a hit at Farmfest

With all the recent buzz about ag water quality, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) offered free and confidential sample testing for nitrates at this year’s FarmFest, Aug. 5-7 near Redwood Falls.

“We tested samples of water that landowners brought from wells, drainage tile and ditches on their property,” said Tim Radatz, research specialist at MAWRC. “We got an excellent response to the service. People who were unaware that we were offering it stopped and talked to us anyway.

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Debunking myths and misinformation in an old anti-E15 video from FOX News (part 2)

There’s a video floating around the web from FOX News that trashes E15 — a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.

Here at MinnesotaCornerstone.com, we’re used to seeing mainstream media outlets parrot Big Oil talking points and get the facts wrong about E15 and ethanol, but this particular video is so bad (it’s actually unintentionally funny), it merits its own multi-part response.

Today’s post is part 2 of that multi-part response.

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20 Minnesota corn farmers attend Corn Congress, make Hill visits in DC

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Coming from across the state, 20 grower-leaders from Minnesota’s corn organizations visited members of Congress, their key aides and other government officials to register their concern about the uncertainty created by current deliberations over changes to water quality regulations under consideration at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In particular, changes to the definition of ‘navigable waters’ to include ditches and even surface runoff from farm fields would mean EPA would have a direct impact on agriculture through new rules it could apply under the Clean Water Act.

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