"To Promote Conservation of Natural Resources through Education, Technical Assistance, & Stewardship."


Pipestone County Conservation & Zoning

119 2nd Ave. S.W. Suite #13

Pipestone, MN 56164


8:00am to 4:30pm  Monday - Friday

Phone: 507-825-1185

Fax: 507-825-6782

DNR releases Minnesota buffer map; implementation begins

​​Become a Certified Farm!

This program certifies farmers for managing the land within their operation in a way that protects water quality. Local conservation professionals assist farmers through the certification process. Begin by contacting us, your local Soil and Water Conservation District.  A Program Application will need to be completed to begin the process but certification of compliance with existing laws and rules will not need to be complete until the Certification Agreement is signed.  Danielle  Evers, our Certifying Agent, will work with you to complete the assessment process.

The first step of this process is the Assessment Tool. To prepare for this it will be helpful to gather some information about the management of your operation.  A Farm Producer Data Report and maps of all the tracts in your farm operation may be obtained at your FSA office.  Other information helpful for the assessment includes soil test reports, nutrient application information, manure tests and application records as well as pesticide records.  This Data Collection Guide can be useful in knowing what the assessment will cover.  The Certifier will also need to conduct a field review of your farm to look for erosion or other potential impacts to water quality.  Remedies to any issues found will need to be included in the certification agreement.  When your whole farm operation meets program standards it will be eligible to become a Water Quality Certified Farm.

View the online assessment tool.

Program Background

July 12th, 2016 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released the official Minnesota Buffer Map. The Map contains water courses that are designated as public waters and ditches. Private landowners that own land with areas that are highlighted on the map will be contacted by the Pipestone SWCD office and assistance will be provided to ensure that all the landowners within the County become compliant with the new Buffer Law.

Implementation deadlines:

  • Nov 1, 2017: 50-foot average width, 30-foot minimum width, buffers must be in place on lands adjacent to public waters and identified and mapped on the buffer map.
  • Nov. 1, 2018: 16.5-foot minimum width buffers must be in place on lands adjacent to public ditches as identified and mapped on the buffer map.

Interactive Buffer Map

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program "MAWQCP"

The Pipestone Conservation and Zoning Office was created by the merger of the Pipestone Soil and Water Conservation District and Pipestone County Zoning & Environmental Office. The Conservation & Zoning office is overseen by both the SWCD Board of Supervisors and the County Commissioners and works jointly with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to install conservation practices and provide technical assistance to producers who are willing to improve their operations and the land by eliminating pollution and runoff concerns.






  • Environmental Education
  • Landowner Technical Assistance
  • Wetland Conservation Act
  • Tree Program
  • No-Till Seeding Program
  • Feedlot
  • Septic
  • Recycling & Solid Waste
  • Planning & Zoning
  • Weed Inspecting
  • MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program

Our Programs:

Lots of Discussion in the State of Minnesota has been revolving around Buffers to improve Water Quality within the State. If you are interested in learning more Contact our office or click on the link below.

Looking for the latest News in Conservation, Check Here. Each year we Distribute Bi-Annual Newsletters to Rural Residents. Every Issue has detailed information on State and Federal Programs as well as information on the Latest Farming Practices.

This year Joel Talsma was chosen by the SWCD Board for the Conservation Farmer of the year Award.  Joel is always ahead of the Farming trends and is very involved with Cover Crops and No-till Farming.

We work together to Put Conservation Practices on the Ground by utilizing State Funds and working Directly with Local Producers / Landowners and  Area Engineers.