Minnesota to lead pilot project in testing federal program that encourages farmers to reduce agricultural pollution; participating farmers will follow land management practices that slow soil erosion, runoff of fertilizers, pesticides, manure

ST. PAUL, Minnesota , January 18, 2012 () – Minnesota will take the lead in testing a federal program that encourages farmers to reduce agricultural pollution.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson and Gov. Mark Dayton are expected to announce the pilot project in St. Paul Tuesday.

Farmers who participate in the program would agree to follow land management practices that slow soil erosion and runoff of fertilizers, pesticides and manure into streams and groundwater. In exchange, the farmers would receive financial and technical support. The Star Tribune says they would also be protected against new environmental requirements during the life of their agreement.

Participants would also get the Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program seal of approval that could be used as a marketing tool.

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