The Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence conducted a study on the profitability of farms enrolled in the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) and for the second year in a row found that they were more profitable than non-certified farms. There were 64 MAWQCP farms in the study and they were on average in 2020 18 percent more profitable. That amounted to $40,000 on average. The study data in 2019 amounted to $19,000 or 20 percent higher.

"The Minnesota Ag Water Certification Program is a double win for the state" Said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson. "We see that certified farms have a major impact on our environment for the better; now we also know that those farmers see better economic outlooks which help our ag economy. I encourage all farmers and landowners to look into the advantage or certifying their land."

The voluntary MAWQCP was launched in 2016. Since than 1,038farms representing 734,000 acres have been certified all across Minnesota. Farmers or landowners interested in becoming certified can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District.

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


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