Published on 05/20/2019

Public-Private Partnerships Power Real Results for the Planet

As a farmer-owned co-op, we know that good things happen when we work together. When farmers, ag retailers, companies and others partner to protect our shared resources of water, air, and soil, it has a local, national and even global impact.

We love to celebrate and share the positive contributions of farmers and retailers to their communities and to the environment. Below, we share just a few examples of the innovative public-private partnerships in which farmers and ag retailers are providing valuable leadership.
We know these are just a few of the many examples of the great things that can happen when farmers are in the driver’s seat of conservation and stewardship. That’s why we’re also asking for folks to share their story on social media using #MyStewardshipStory – we look forward to hearing from you! 

Cedar River Watershed Partnership
Founded in 2017 in our home state of Minnesota, this first of its kind, award-winning  collaboration leverages the expertise of ag retailer partner Central Farm Services, Hormel Foods, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the nonprofit Environmental Initiative.
The partnership gives farmers the resources and support to implement precision conservation practices like planting cover crops and employing nutrient management and no-till and strip-till systems on their farms, which improve soil and water quality. Healthy soil can protect water from runoff and decrease flooding, and improve air quality by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Farmers who participate in this program can earn certification through the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Big Pine Watershed Partnership
Two years ago, with our partners at Winfield United, Ceres Solutions, the Conservation Technology Information Center, NRCS, local soil and water conservation districts, Purdue University Extension and The Nature Conservancy, we set the goal of improving water quality and reducing the amount of phosphorus and sediment that flow into the Big Pine Watershed in Western Indiana by more than 50 percent by 2020.
Across Benton, White, Warren and Tippecanoe counties in Indiana, farmers were able to apply for funding to aid in the adoption of practices like no-till and cover crops, which keep nutrients in the fields and out of the watershed – a move that makes environmental and economic sense.
The Importance of Watershed Stewardship
Downstream, even small local rivers like the Big Pine Creek and Cedar River eventually connect to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. As we rely on clean water and healthy soil to grow crops and keep our farms in business, farmers are leading the charge to protect these valuable resources for generations to come. We invite you to learn more about how farmers are supporting a more sustainable food system from farm to fork and share your own #MyStewardship story here.