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Cover Crop Champion 2017

Mower SWCD with Mower County farmers Tom Cotter and Tom Finnegan



MEDIA RELEASE on Cover Crop Champion grant


Cover cropping in southeast Minnesota will increase greatly in awareness in 2017 thanks to a national grant awarded to Mower Soil & Water Conservation District for work with local farmers, Tom Cotter and Tom Finnegan.


National Wildlife Federation has awarded a $8,740 grant to Mower SWCD naming the office as a Cover Crop Champion for outreach along with Cotter and Finnegan as Cover Crop Champion farmers. Cotter and Finnegan incorporate cover crops in their farm operations just outside of Austin.


Cover cropping involves planting a second, unharvested crop in coordination with cash crops, such as corn and soybeans.


The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program says cover crops offer economic and ecological benefits:

  • Reducing fertilizer costs.
  • Improving crop yields by enhancing soil health.
  • Reducing the need for herbicides and pesticides.
  • Preventing soil erosion.
  • Conserving soil moisture.
  • Protecting water quality.
  • Helping to safeguard personal health.

Those interested in the Cover Crop Champion program or having Mower County’s Cover Crop Champion team speak at an event, contact Mower SWCD at 507-434-2603 or go online to www.mowerswcd.org or www.facebook.com/mowerswcd.



National Wildlife Federation

Mower Soil Health Team

NRCS: Cover Crops and Soil Health





                          Tom Cotter                    Tom Finnegan

                         (Austin Township)                  (Red Rock Township)


"It's not too late to do our part in saving our environment one acre at a time. We need to think about the changes we implement now to secure the land and wildlife for future generations."

                       Tom Cotter

"In just a few years, we are seeing a significant change. Good things are coming for us in agricultural conservation, and cover crops will be a driving part."

                      Tom Finnegan


Upcoming events for Cover Crop Champion

March 3 -- Northern Country Coop farmer seminar in Austin

March 11 -- Watershed Summit in Bloomington, MN

March 16 -- SE MN Cover Crop Consortium Seminar in Zumbrota

April 6 -- SE MN SWCD Employees meeting in Austin

April 10 -- Austin Community Education all-ages event at Cotter farm near Austin

April 30 -- Izaak Walton League regional meeting in Austin








Mower SWCD | 1408 21st. Ave, NW | Austin, MN 55912 | 507-434-2603| Fax: 507-434-2680