The Minnesota Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years.
- Regulatory Certainty: certified producers are deemed to be in compliance with any new water quality rules or laws during the period of their certification
- Recognition: certified producers may use their status to promote their business as protective of water quality
- Priority for technical and financial assistance: producers seeking certification can obtain specially designated technical and financial assistance to implement practices that promote water quality
- Assurance that certified producers are using conservation practices to protect Minnesota's lakes, rivers, and streams
This program certifies farmers for managing the land within their operation in a way that protects water quality. Agricultural operations and landowners seeking certification will undergo a whole farm assessment that evaluates physical field characteristics, nutrient management factors, tillage management factors, pest management factors, irrigation and tile drainage management, and conservation practices. The output of the assessment tool is a unitless index score from 1-10 that aggregates a field's potential risk to water quality. A score of 8.5 or greater is necessary for certification eligibility.
To view the online assessment tool, visit