The Lake Friendly Farm Program has been created to recognize the farmers that are doing an outstanding job of managing their farms in a way that protects the water resources in the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District. The program will identify and publicly recognize existing best management practices in the watershed and assist farmers in identifying areas for improvement to help protect our water resources.
- Publicly recognize and reward farmers who do an outstanding job of managing their farms in an economically and environmentally sound way that protects and improves water resources within the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District.
- Publicize and promote agricultural best management practices that help improve water quality while maintaining and improving agricultural viability of local farms.
- Increase public awareness of farmers’ voluntary contributions to resource protection.
- Create local partnerships to identify new projects and financial resource opportunities for the Lake-Friendly Farm Program and the Farmer-led Council.
Benefits of becoming a Lake-Friendly Farm
- Provides public recognition to farmers who are implementing and maintaining good water quality practices.
- Improves water quality in streams while maintaining productive farmland.
- Promotes more efficient use of fertilizers and pesticides, benefiting all.
- Provides a healthier soil structure.
- Creates an avenue for increased local partnerships and marketing strategies.
Lake-Friendly Farm Pilot Phase
The program is currently in its pilot phase and local farmers are stepping up to the plate to test out the certification process. The farmers are working with the Scott Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to assess their farm to identify the good work that has already been done, as well areas where improvements may be suggested. The pilot farms are being assessed for:
- Soil Loss Management
- Tile Drainage Systems
- Nutrient Management/Manure Spreading
- Riparian Buffers
- Compliance with Existing Laws
If the property does not meet the certification criteria, the SWCD conservation planner will work with the farmer and/or landowner to develop and implement a plan to become certified as a Lake-Friendly Farm. Once this pilot phase is complete and the program officially opened, the pilot farms will be eligible for certification. Farms will be certified by Scott SWCD with approval by the Farmer-led Council.
How to Participate
The Lake-Friendly Farm Program is anticipated to open up this fall. If you would like to be one of the first farms to sign up to participate, please contact Scott Schneider at Scott SWCD at (952)492-5417 or firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the contact list.