The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Sauk River Watershed District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, MN Department of Agriculture and MN Agricultural Water Resources Center are planning a field day at the Nick and Tara Meyer Dairy Farm-Stearns County Discovery Farm near Sauk Centre.
The field day is set for Thursday, June 28, from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Milk and cookies will be provided. The target audience for this field day will include landowners, local government unit employees, elected officials, and any other interested parties. The field day will consist of a tour and presentations on the following:
•Mississippi River Basin Initiative Program
•Minnesota Discovery Farms Overview
•Stearns County Discovery Farm soils and farming system
•Stearns County Discovery Farm equipment and data
•Stearns County Discovery Farm sample collection process
•Question and Answer session with landowners Nick and Tara Meyer
Discovery Farms Minnesota is a farmer-led effort to gather information and assess the water quality impact of different types of farms, in landscapes all across Minnesota. The mission of the Discovery Farms program is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions, providing practical, credible, site-specific information to enable better farm management. The program is designed to collect accurate measurements of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus movement over the soil surface and through subsurface drainage tiles and to generate a better understanding of the relationship between agricultural land management and water quality.
Nick and Tara Meyer, who own and operate Meyer Dairy Farm south of Sauk Centre, were selected by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center to participate in the Discovery Farms program in 2010. The data monitoring sites were installed and fully functional by March 2011. Surface water runoff and sub-surface drainage from the edge of field site will be collected for a total of 5-7 years. The data received from the site will be analyzed for sediment, total phosphorus, phosphate phosphorus, total ammonium, and nitrate nitrogen in an effort to calculate total nutrient and sediment movement.
"We are proud to be a part of the Discovery Farm program, because as farmers, we know environmental stewardship and farming go hand in hand," said Tara. Nick and Tara Meyer also received the Outstanding Conservationist Award from the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2009.