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Heidi Mogensen and and Great River Greening’s Conservation Director Steve Huckett chat during a volunteer planting event on the Mogensen Farm.

The Mogensen Family grows corn and soybeans on about 2100 acres in Belgrade, Oshawa, and Traverse townships, Nicollet County. Their home farm and several farms that they rent from neighbors border the northern edges of 7 Mile Creek County Park, and a few of 7 Mile Creek’s tributary ravines begin on property that the Mogensens own or rent.

On all of the farms the Mogensens own, they’ve enrolled edges of the field next to ravines into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Between the ravines and the field, 30-100 feet of prairie grasses and wildflowers slow-down and infiltrate water before it reaches the ravine. Even on farms they rent, they make sure to give the ravines some breathing room.  In the 1980s and 1990s, they worked with conservation staff to install some erosion control projects at the top of a few of their ravines. Gradually over the past couple decades, they have taken it upon themselves to install DIY erosion control projects at the top of nearly every ravine on their farm property – whether it’s owned or rented. “Most of the time, we pay engineers big bucks to survey and design projects like that,” Galles said. “The Mogensens, like plenty of other folks too, just go ahead and get things done.”

7 Mile Creek farmer Dave Mogensen, center, chats with volunteers and oversees tractor rides after a prairie planting event at his farm outside St. Peter, MN.

Dave Mogensen, center, chats with volunteers and oversees tractor rides after a prairie planting event at his farm outside St. Peter, MN.

The Mogensens have around 150 acres enrolled in CRP, have been no-tilling and strip-tilling their farms for many years, and are beginning to incorporate cover crops and conservation drainage into their farming. They also hosted a public volunteer restoration event at their farm to enhance a new CRP enrollment with additional pollinator-friendly species. “Like most folks, they’re pretty private and humble – don’t like to ‘toot their own horn’ so to speak. They make my job pretty easy though, and as long as I’m don’t make them come to meetings, every once in a while they let me brag about them,” said Galles, laughing.

To participate in some of the same conservation programs as the Mogensens (CRP incentives, erosion control projects, cover crop incentives, controlled drainage  planning assistance, no-till/strip-till assistance), contact us!