Meet MAWQCP Certified Dairy Farmers, Dan and Crystal Ley

dan-and-crystal-ley-3rd-st-promotional-write-up-01Third Street Brewhouse (Third Street), is proud to partner with the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP), in recognizing local farmers for the great work they are doing to protect our local water resources.

The MAWQCP program, created by Governor Mark Dayton as a partnership between federal and state governments and private industry, has certified over 240 farmers in 55 counties, totaling over 140,000 acres in just over one year of statewide operation. The MAWQCP is a voluntary program that works with famers and local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) to identify and fix risks to water quality on a field-by-field, whole farm basis. Producers who treat all risks to water quality on their operation are certified and deemed to be in compliance with new water quality rules and laws for 10 years.

Dairy famers, Dan and Crystal Ley from Richmond, MN, are certified in the Minnesota Agricultural Certification Program. They operate a farm consisting of 54 cows, along with 48 heifers and calves, and 20 pigs. They grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 257 acres that have been completely no-tilled since 2007. Every acre in corn or soybeans is followed with a cover crop that is either drilled or aerially seeded.

Dan and Crystal are recipients of Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA), Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant, where they are comparing four different forage cover crops following corn silage.

The Ley’s have hosted numerous field days on their farm, highlighting the benefits of no-tilling and cover crops. Other conservation practices implemented over the years include: field borders, grassed waterways, nutrient and integrated pest management, and becoming a certified farm in the MAWQCP.

To show our support and encouragement, Third Street provides locally MAWQCP certified farmers with a Minnesota Gold sign and case of beer as a sign of our appreciation!

Learn more about MAWQCP by visiting http://www.mda.state.mn.us/awqcp

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