Dorrich Dairy is first area farm to be ‘water quality certified’
Dorrich Dairy, a local dairy and family farm operated by the Vold family south of Glenwood was honored last Friday as the first in Pope County to become a “Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certified Farm.”
Not only was the farm the first in Pope County, but the first farm outside of the pilot watersheds where the program was first started, it was stated by Grant Pearson, certification specialist for the program.
Now, according to Holly Kovarik, manager of the Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), the Water Quality Certification program is being rolled out statewide, and it is hoped that more area agricultural producers will seek the certification that the Vold family received at their Dorrich Dairy operation.
The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is a voluntary program for farms and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices are certified and in turn obtain what is called “regulatory certainty,” as well as technical and financial assistance to implement practices that promote water quality. The program does mean implementing practices such as no-till rotations, keeping residue or plants on the land as long as possible, buffering waterways, shelterbelts, nutrient management, pest management, tile drainage and irrigation management as well as other various conservation practices.
Greg Vold, who operates the farm along with his brother, Brad Vold, and their parents Richard and Dorothy Vold, said that many of the practices used on the Dorrich Dairy farm to certify it for the program “were pretty painless,” stating that the Vold family had already been doing a number of management practices that were passed down from his parents. He said that the three families that operate the farm implement practices that are “economical, of course, but they also must be sustainable.” He said sustainability and stewardship are very important factors when it comes to the future operation at Dorrich Dairy, and for it to be done correctly, all three families play a part in the operation, along with the weather, the cows the crops and farm programs, the Pope SWCD and the Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) .
“It’s a team effort, and to continue to move forward, we need that team approach,” said Greg Vold.
Richard Vold thanked those at the award presentation, which included neighbors, county commissioners, Rep. Paul Anderson, and representatives of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District.
“My family has farmed this land for 115 years,” he said, explaining that the name Dorrich Dairy came from he and his wife’s names–Dorothy and Richard. “It’s been quite a ride, and I couldn’t be more proud of our sons and their families,” he said.