Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

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Local Water Quality Protection Efforts Attract Attention

Publication: Pipestone County Star

Author: Debra Fitzgerald

Laura DeBeer found herself doing some unusual but welcome things during mid-October.

First, the Minnesota Department of Health (DOH) came to Pipestone County specifically to film DeBeer doing her job.

“Which is a little intimidating because I’ve never done anything like this before,” DeBeer said.

Second, she and others hosted a Pulitzer-Prize nominated journalist and author who’s researching perennial grains, like Kernza.

DeBeer is the water quality specialist housed at the Pipestone Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office who works with six different counties in southwest Minnesota. Her position focuses on protecting water quality, specifically groundwater sources within the sensitive wellhead areas within the region.

“The video covered the efforts of working with producers on nutrient management efforts as well as more specifically Edgerton’s plot of Kernza,” DeBeer said. “The main focus of the video was really on communication –– how SWCDs and other local entities can communicate with producers and landowners about wellhead protection.”

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