1000 10th Avenue - Suite 3
Clarkfield MN  56223
Phone:  320-669-4442 Ext 3  FAX: 320-669-7525
Contact Us
Home Supervisors Staff Plans/Reports Programs/Services Outreach/News Partners/Links

Tree Program Erosion Control & Water Mgmt Ag BMP Loan Program
Rock Outcrop Program Wetland Conservation Act Vegetative Mgmt & Enhancement Program
Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM Program) County Water Mgmt Plan Rainfall Monitoring Program
Conservation Planning & Construction Clean Water Fund Projects Federal Programs

DNR Observation Well Monitoring Program  - 
Measure the water level in observation wells for DNR.
Workings Land Initiative Program  - 
Public/private partnership for wildlife development.
Walk In Access Program  - 
Landowners earn extra income by opening their land up for public hunting.
DNR Water Permits  - 
Process and review DNR water permits.
TREE PROGRAM:  The Yellow Medicine Soil and Water Conservation District's (SWCD) Tree Program began in 1961.  The SWCD sells and plants trees for landowners in Yellow Medicine County for conservation purposes only.  For more information go to Tree Program or contact Kurt Johnson.
  Top of Page
EROSION CONTROL AND WATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM:   This cost share program provides landowners/occupiers with financial assistance to offset the cost of installing conservation practices that protect and improve water quality by controlling soil erosion and reducing sedimentation.  The SWCD provides up to 75% cost-share on conservation practices. Some of the most common practices are as follows:  Water and Sediment Control Basins; Terraces; Grassed Waterways; or Field Windbreaks.
  Top of Page
AG BMP LOAN PROGRAM The SWCD administers this program on behalf of Yellow Medicine County.  This loan program provides low interest financing to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses for the implementation of best management practices that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots and farm fields.  Loans are also provided for projects identified in the Yellow Medicine County's Water Plan that reduce water quality problems caused by agricultural activities or failing septic systems.  Loan eligible activities include:  Feedlot improvements to treat existing pollution problems; Upgrading manure storage facilities; Improving manure handling, spreading and incorporating equipment: terraces, waterways, water & sediment control basins and other practices that prevent erosion; purchasing of conservation tillage equipment, repair of individual sewage treatment systems and drill replacement wells. 

Terms of Loans:  Loan amounts are limited to $100,000 to any one individual or project.  Maximum loan length is 10 years.  Maximum interest rate is 3%, plus other normal and customary charges.  Local lendors must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Ag.  Loans may be used in conjunction with State Cost Share or Federal Environmental Quality Incentive Program dollars.  For more information on the Ag BMP Loan Program contact Anita Borg or call 320-669-4442 Extension 3.
  Top of Page
ROCK OUTCROP PROGRAM:  The Rock Outcrop Program provided landowners with compensation for protecting rock outcrops and enrolling the land into a permanent easement.  The landowner received compensation for enrolling into this program.  Contact  Tyler Knutson or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
  Top of Page
WETLAND CONSERVATION ACT (WCA) PROGRAMIn 1991, reacting to public concern about Minnesota’s disappearing wetlands, the Minnesota Legislature approved and signed the Wetland Conservation Act.  To retain the benefits of wetlands and reach the legislation’s goal of no-net-loss of wetlands, the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) requires anyone proposing to drain or fill a wetland first to try to avoid disturbing the wetland; second, to try minimize any impact on the wetland; and, finally, to replace any lost wetland acres, functions, and values.  Certain wetland activities are exempt from the act, allowing projects with minimal impact or projects located on land where certain pre-established land uses are present to proceed without regulations.

Wetlands are governed by both Federal and State programs and laws.  The Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act is administered locally by the Yellow Medicine SWCD.    In addition to the Federal Farm Service Agency AD-1026 form, you will need to fill out a form at the SWCD office located in the USDA Ag Service Center in Clarkfield  before you proceed with your excavation, filling or drainage projects.  This form will help us determine if you will be in compliance with the State Wetland Conservation Act.  After we review your request, you may be required to fill out a basic application.

Wetland protection is not just an agricultural issue; it is a land use issue.  So whether your project is on a farm or in town, make sure you have permits you need by contacting one or more of the following for their comments and/or approval to be sure your project won't impact a wetland:
                     Yellow Medicine SWCD - Phone 320-669-4442 Ext 3
                      Farm Service Agency - Phone 320-669-4492 Ext 2
                      Natural Resources Conservation Service - Phone 320-669-4442 Ext 3
                      Yellow Medicine Watershed District - Phone 507-872-6720
                      Lac qui Parle Watershed District - Phone 320-598-3132
                      Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Phone 507-359-6053
                      United States Army Corp of Engineers - Phone 651-290-5375

Charges for services for the Wetland Conservation Act are as follows:
     Full Application (Part I & Part II - Replacement Plan through Banking) - $150.00
     Full Application (Part I & Part II - Project Specific Replacement) - $300.00
     Local Restoration Order - $75.00
     Full Restoration Order - $450.00
     Delineation Review - without replacement plan - $150.00
     Appeal Process - $500.00
Please contact Kurt Johnson for more information on WCA or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
  Top of Page
VEGETATIVE MANAGEMENT & ENHANCEMENT COST SHARE PROGRAM:  This program provides cost share up to 100% not to exceed $300/acre to convert cool season grass stands to native grasses, or to enhance and inter-seed additional species into an existing native grass planting on eligible lands enrolled into certain conservation easements.  Contact Tyler Knutson or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
Top of Page
REINVEST IN MINNESOTA (RIM) PROGRAM:  The Reinvest In Minnesota Program (RIM) is a State funded program which compensates landowners for voluntarily retiring marginal crop ground, to benefit wildlife habitat and protect the states soil and water resources.  Developed in 1986, the RIM program has been a highly successful program for farmers, wildlife enthusiasts and environmentalists.  RIM has targeted riparian areas near streams and land which has potential for wetland restoration.  The success of the program has been fueled by cooperators seeing the aesthetic and wildlife improvements on the land.  For more information please contact  Tyler Knutson or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
Top of Page
YELLOW MEDICINE COUNTY LOCAL WATER  PLAN:  The SWCD assists the Yellow Medicine County Water Planner with implementing the County's Water Plan.  This plan is a 10 year plan with a 5 year implementation period.  The SWCD has adopted this plan as our Comprehensive Plan.  For more information on the Yellow Medicine County's Water Plan, please visit the county's website at  When you get to that site the Water Plan can be found on the right hand side of the home page under Plans, Policies, Reports and Ordinances.  Click on YMC Local Water Plan. 
Top of Page
RAINFALL MONITORING PROGRAM:  Yellow Medicine SWCD, along with the State Climatologist Office, enlists individuals across the county to collect rainfall data.  The data is forwarded to the State Climatologist Office to collect and record average rainfall data for the entire state.  Rain gauge monitors include:  Menno Fokken, Richard Rogers, Wanda Luepke, Edgar Krosch, Rodney Gaffney, Jeff Remiger, Charles Pearson, Kris Brusven, and Kevin Doom.  Contact Anita Borg or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
  Top of Page
CONSERVATION PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION:  The SWCD, along with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Prairie Technical Service Area, provide technical assistance to all landowners.  Technical assistance may include:  conducting a site investigation; determining the best management practices for the given situation; survey and designing the project; producing a cost estimate; providing a designed plan for submission for bids; performing a pre-construction conference with the contractor and owner/operator and supervising construction and certification of completion of the project.
Top of Page
CLEAN WATER FUND PROJECTS:  The Clean Water Fund (CWF) Grants provide cost-share and incentives for various projects.  The SWCD has been successful in obtaining grants through this process.  Currently the SWCD has two Clean Water Grants:  FY2012 Lower YM River Sub-Watershed Drainage Grant and FY2013 Targeted Drainage Management Grant.   

Have you been thinking about adding new drainage tile systems to your farming operation?  Do you currently have drainage tile systems in place on land that you own or operate?  Through Clean Water Fund Drainage Grants, the Yellow Medicine Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is offering financial assistance to maximize your tiling investment.  Through these grants, the SWCD can provide cost share dollars of up to 75% to adopt, install, and maintain certain practices that will advance your new drainage tile systems or improve an existing system.  Cost-share is available for the following practices:


  1. Denitrifying Bioreactors:
    1. 75% cost share
    2. CAP130 Drainage Water Management Plan required


  1. Structure for Water Control:
    1. 75% cost share
    2. CAP130 Drainage Water Management Plan required


  1. Subsurface Drain- alternative tile inlets:
    1. 75% cost share not to exceed $600/dense pattern tile inlet
    2. 75% cost share not to exceed $300/rock inlet (limited to only a small area in the County)
    3. No CAP130 Drainage Water Management Plan required


  1. CAP130 Drainage Water Management Plan
    1. 75% cost shared not to exceed $1,650
    2. Must be written by an approved Technical Service Provider


Field tile drainage, if done properly, can simplify field work, maximize yield potential, retain soil nutrients, minimize nutrient and sediment loading to our ditches and streams, lower peak flows followng rainfall events, and ultimately benefit the environment on a local, state, and national level as well as improve profitability potential.


For specifice information on clean water grants, go to Plans/Reports tab.  For more information on the Clean Water Fund Drainiage Projects contact Tyler Knutson or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.

Top of Page
FEDERAL PROGRAMS:   The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a variety of conservation programs available to help landowners/operators pay for installing best management practices.  Financial and technical assistance is provided to implement measures that will address issues of water quality, wildlife and trees, pasture management, structural practices, conservation cropping systems and livestock management.  Some of their programs include:  Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Wetland Reserve Program (WRP).  NRCS also provides technical assistance for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  For more information please contact  Jon Paul Pringle or call 320-669-4442 Ext 3.
  Top of Page