Sustainable agriculture


Whether you are operating a multi-generation farm or are just thinking about getting a few chickens, the Washington Conservation District has the resources to assist you. 

Schedule a site visit to learn about financial and technical assistance for practices such as cover crops, grassed waterways, buffer strips, and invasive species management. We can also connect you with special grants to repair gullies, convert cropland to prairies, reduce phosphorus to lakes and rivesr, and protect groundwater drinking supplies from nitrogen contamination. 

2017 program highlights

Buffer Law: Conducted 40 site visits and provided technical assistance to help local farmers. As of March 2017, Washington County reported 81-98% compliance with the buffer law (ranked 16th in the State).

MN Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP): Certified five (5) producers in Washington County and leveraged public interest through the Bancroft-Arnesen Explore Access Water Expedition.

Feedlot Inventory: Updated the County’s 1997 feedlot inventory to reflect current locations and numbers.

National Wildlife Federation Cover Crop Champions: Partnered with farmers Tim Behrends and Brian Axdahl to promote cover crop use. Wrote newsletter articles, spoke on a panel at the St. Croix Summit, and hosted a field day with Natural Resources Conservation Service and Green Lands Blue Waters.

Lake and Stream Restoration: Partnered with Chisago SWCD to identify and prioritize projects to restore water quality in Bone Lake, Scandia. If projects on the top 50 fields are implemented, it would keep 1,410 lbs/yr of phosphorus out of the lake. Partnered with South Washington Watershed District to identify areas of erosion near Trout Brook in Afton/Denmark Twp, and to model and prioritize potential restoration projects.

Wetland and Habitat Restoration: Worked with Comfort Lake - Forest Lake Watershed District to design two wetland restoration projects. Worked with Minnesota Land Trust and Washington County to develop the Terrapin Habitat Management Plan for 750 acres of high quality woodlands in northern Washington County. Implemented the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act.

Protecting the St. Croix River: Helped private landowners along the St. Croix River to stabilize ravines and install grassed waterways to reduce erosion and runoff pollution in partnership with St. Croix River Association and Minnesota Clean Water Fund. Projects will keep 279 lbs/yr of phosphorus out of the river.