Clean water is the life-blood of the Brainerd Lakes Area economy. Right now, Senator Carrie Ruud has an opportunity to protect Minnesota’s clean water, clean up water that is already compromised, support healthy farming practices, and show that sustainability in agriculture is a statewide Minnesota value.

Creating a comprehensive set of soil health initiatives through the environmental omnibus and legacy bills currently being debated in conference committees would be a huge step forward in protecting Minnesota’s clean water and supporting sustainable agriculture all around the state. Senator Ruud’s votes and leadership on both the environmental and legacy committees matter greatly.

As a long-time member and current president of Crow Wing Food Co-op, I’ve been encouraging support of local farmers for years. Co-op members know how valuable local farmers and strong local food systems are. Co-op members know that sustainable agricultural practices protect our health, our land, and our water. Strong local food systems and sustainable agricultural methods are essential as we look to mitigate a changing climate and protect the land and water we love.

This soil health package would invest public dollars in helping Minnesota farmers adopt more sustainable methods like cover crops, rotational grazing, and no-till practices, which minimize erosion, reduce runoff, sequester carbon in the soil, protect clean water, and increase farmer resiliency.

The Soil Health Program is a powerful, positive step toward resiliency that will empower farmers and invest in the future of our agriculture, which includes our food, land, water, and people. Senator Ruud will do us all proud by supporting this program this year.

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Jennifer Jacquot-DeVries

Brainerd