On June 18, State Representative Barb Haley (R-Red Wing) and other lawmakers gathered in Red Wing to discuss on-farm conservation efforts and the benefits of sustainable farming on reducing nutrient pollution.
Nutrient pollution is one of the leading issues facing the health of the Mississippi River. While fertilizer run-off from farms is often one of the largest contributors to pollution, they are also able to make the greatest impacts.
“Clean water and improving water quality is important to all of us,” Haley said. “I value the discussion with these advocacy groups and I’m pleased to have joined the conversation with legislators that serve districts along the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin.”
The Lake City Catholic Worker Farm is a locally based farm using restorative agricultural practices and diversifying their crops, which many in the group visited.
“I was excited to tour one of our local farms with state legislators and learn more about their great work,” said Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse. “This coordination opens up many opportunities to continue tackling nutrient pollution through multiple levels of government.”
Mississippi River Legislative Caucus (MRLC) staff organized the tour and discussion to allow farmers, legislators, and city officials to have a space to learn and discuss means for improved collaboration. Attendees spoke about how to assist and encourage the younger generation to become farmers and embrace innovative techniques that reduce nutrient loading.
“After touring the Lake City Catholic Worker Farm, legislators were inspired and are dedicated to working together to improve nutrient pollution reduction along the Mississippi River corridor,” said national Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) Executive Director Jeff Mauk. “We are inspired by their motivation and desires to coordinate together as they work towards a healthier Mississippi River.”
Rep. Haley and the other legislators in attendance were a part of the Mississippi River Legislative Caucus (MRLC). The MRLC was established to better coordinate state legislators in the states bordering the Mississippi River around river health and sustainable infrastructure development.
The Mississippi River Legislative Caucus is a project of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). Created by and for state legislators, NCEL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,000 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.