A new survey being conduced in the Chippewa River watershed will gauge the role grass-based livestock production could play in the region's future. The survey can be completed online at Survey Monkey or accessed through the Chippewa 10% Project's website at www.profitsfromperennials.org/news.html.
If you prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, contact Nate Klucus at 320-333-3793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey will be open through August 31, and producers in the following counties who currently raise livestock -- or who are interested in adding livestock to their farms -- are encouraged to complete the survey: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Ottertail, Renville, Pope, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
Anyone who includes their name and telephone number on their completed survey is eligible to win a $100 gift card to the farm store of their choice. Survey participants may also choose to complete the survey anonymously. All personal contact information will be kept confidential and survey answers shared only in aggregated form.
The survey is being conducted by the Chippewa 10% Project as a way to gauge what it would take to make grass-based animal agriculture a bigger presence in the region, said Julia Ahlers Ness, Chippewa 10% Project Coordinator.
"Grass-based animal agriculture has a rightful and critical place within the Chippewa River Watershed," she said. "Well-managed, productive grasslands can help clean up lakes, rivers and groundwater; sequester large amount of carbon, improve soil health and provide the critically needed biological diversity on the landscape. In addition, livestock production systems that utilize good grazing management in part or in whole can contribute significant economic value to individual farms and to the growing sustainable food system in west central Minnesota."