Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen (l) presents Randy Schmiesing (r) of Stevens County with his Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program wildlife endorsement.

Two Minnesota farmers are being recognized for their commitment to agriculture, water quality, and wildlife. Randy Schmiesing, of Stevens County, and Tom Cotter, of Mower County, were recently given the new Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) wildlife endorsement at the Pheasants Forever National Pheasant Fest in Minneapolis. Schmiesing and Cotter are the first farmers in the state to receive the endorsement.

“Conserving our natural resources for future generations to enjoy has been a lifelong goal and commitment,” said Randy Schmiesing, Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certified Producer. Schmiesing said he was proud to be one of the first farms to be certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for the program, and hoped it would encourage other farmers to pursue this wildlife endorsement and reap the many benefits it achieves.

Certified producers who achieve an endorsement will receive an additional sign for their farm and recognition for their conservation excellence. Certified farmers and landowners interested in an endorsement, or those interested in becoming water quality certified, can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District or visit


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