Discovery Farms Minnesota is modeled after the Wisconsin Discovery Farms program started by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Discovery Farms is an approach to systems based research originating in the Netherlands. On-farm, producer-led research provides much needed data, at a scale that complements both experimental plot research and computer modeling projects. On-farm, producer-led research is a great way to work directly with the agricultural community, support peer-to-peer learning and test solutions in the “real-world”.

Discovery Farms Minnesota is committed to:

  • Farmer leadership
  • Collecting water quality information on privately owned and operated farms
  • Creating a science-based approach for establishing best practices and rules
  • Providing an educational environment in which all participants will learn from each other
  • Improving communication among farmers, consumers, researchers and policy-makers
  • A proactive approach to environmental protection – providing opportunities for farmers to find solutions that work within their farming systems

Program Goals:

  • Understand agriculture’s positive impacts on soil and water quality and work toward reducing negative impacts
  • Better identify management practices that will improve farm profitability and environmental performance
  • Provide science-based information on agricultural production and natural resource management

This program provides:

  • Baseline data on the environmental performance of Minnesota Farms
  • Information on how farmers can adopt best practices
  • An educational environment where farmers learn from each other