Discovery Farms Minnesota emphasizes farmer input and direction. A Steering Committee comprised of representatives from Minnesota farm, agribusiness and conservation organizations guides the overall direction of the program, assists in the identification of research priorities and helps in the selection of cooperators and projects. The Steering Committee also includes non-voting members representing various state agencies and academic institutions.
Farm cooperators are critical to the success of this program. Knowledge and understanding of their farming system and local landscape is essential in connecting water quality data to farm management practices. Farmers participating in the DFM program work closely with key advisors to examine their existing farming system and explore and implement changes, if needed, to reduce or eliminate adverse environmental impacts. Participating farmers keep and provide detailed records on practices that occur in the monitored area. Visits, tours and field days are held at participating farms.