ESI guest post: Agriculture and the Upper Mississippi
This is a guest post from Joseph and Peter, 2022 Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) fellows. ESI fellows design and carry out a capstone project during a six-week summer program. They researched the impact of agriculture on water quality and what we can do about pollution from excess fertilizers. (Note: Opinions expressed in ESI projects are those of the program participants and do not necessarily represent those of FMR.)
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For our final project, we did research and interviews regarding the effects and extent of agriculture along the Mississippi River, especially widespread crops across Minnesota such as corn and soybeans. The drainage and tillage systems used in Southern Minnesota farms are unsustainable and unhealthy for the Mississippi River south of the metro.
Why we chose this project
We realized the impact of such a consequential industry as agriculture on our ecosystem, and wanted to call attention to solutions including regulatory and legal action, as well as individual contributions towards sustainable and smaller-scale agricultural operations and farmers.
What we hope you take away
The Forever Green Initiative is raising awareness for renewable, sustainable and perennial crops that can be delivered from farm to fork in Minnesota.
FMR created the Environmental Stewardship Institute to address the gap between environmental education and a career path in the environmental field. We hold a summer intensive program and a school-year youth advisory council. Learn more about the 2022 ESI summer program, including other final projects.