Address

1243 Lake Avenue, Suite 777
Fairmont, MN 56031

Contact

320-251-7800 x6477

©2017 by Conservation Marketplace Midwest. 

Our Board and Staff

Get to know the dedicated board and staff behind Conservation Marketplace Midwest. They come from all walks of life and are united in their passion to make a difference in the lives of people from all over the world. Our staff is made up of highly trained experts in a variety of fields. Get in touch today and speak with any one of our staff members.

Dennis Fuchs

Board Chair

Dennis Fuchs serves as the District Administrator for the Stearns Soil and Water Conservation located in Waite Park, MN.

Linda Meschke

Board Treasurer

Linda Meschke serves as the President of Rural Advantage in Fairmont, MN, which works to "promote the interconnection of Agriculture, the Environment, and Rural Communities".

Jessica Anne Nelson

Board Member

 as the Watershed Outreach & GIS Specialist for the Water Resource Center at the Minnesota State University-Mankato, which works to improve water resources in southern Minnesota.

Jim Klang

Board Member

Jim Klang serves as the Senior Project Engineer for Kieser & Associates based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Klang manages several ecosystem service market development projects in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

Brooke Hacker

Board Member

Brooke Hacker serves as a citizen representative on the board. Her expertise in agricultural watersheds, water quality concerns, river restoration, and Minnesota priorities and protocols adds tremendous depth to decision making and discussion.

Aaron Meyer

Board Member

Aaron Meyer serves as a "Source Water Specialist" is with the Minnesota Rural Water Association. MRWA employs full-time technicians and specialists who act as 'circuit riders' visiting water and wastewater systems in Minnesota. We assist communities and systems in complying with complex regulations to protect public health and the environment by providing on-site technical assistance and specialized training.

Kay Gross

Board Member

Kay Gross serves as the District Administrator for the Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District and the Administrative Coordinator for the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Association. She brings a local natural resource and conservation adoption perspective that elevates understanding for program develop for producers.

Brian Brandt

Board  Vice Chairman

Brian Brandt operates as the Director of Agriculture Conservation Innovations for American Farmland Trust. As part of his role, Brandt plays an integral role in a multi-disciplinary effort to help farmers implement farming practices that will benefit the environment without sacrificing yields or profits. Located in Ohio, Brandt helps provides a larger midwestern perspective.

Kay Gross

Board Member

Kay Gross serves as the District Administrator for the Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District and the Administrative Coordinator for the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Association. She brings a local natural resource and conservation adoption perspective that elevates understanding for program develop for producers.

Brian Brandt

Board  Vice Chairman

Brian Brandt operates as the Director of Agriculture Conservation Innovations for American Farmland Trust. As part of his role, Brandt plays an integral role in a multi-disciplinary effort to help farmers implement farming practices that will benefit the environment without sacrificing yields or profits. Located in Ohio, Brandt helps provides a larger midwestern perspective.

Our Board and Staff

Get to know the dedicated board and staff behind Conservation Marketplace Midwest. They come from all walks of life and are united in their passion to make a difference in the lives of people from all over the world. Our staff is made up of highly trained experts in a variety of fields. Get in touch today and speak with any one of our staff members.

Brian brandt

Board Chairman

Brian Brandt serves as the Director of Agriculture Conservation Innovations for American Farmland Trust in Ohio. He plays an integral role in a multi-disciplinary effort to help farmers implement practices that will benefit the environment without sacrificing yields or profits.

Dennis fuchs

Board Member

Dennis Fuchs serves as the District Administrator for the Stearns Soil and Water Conservation located in Waite Park, MN.

Carrie Raber

Board Member

Carrie Raber serves as a planner in the Minnesota Department of Health’s Drinking Water Protection Program.  As part of this work, Raber is advancing source water protection through innovative methods that recognize ecosystem services as an approach to solve complex environmental challenges.

Brooke Hacker

Board Member

Brooke Hacker serves as a citizen representative on the board. Her expertise in agricultural watersheds, water quality concerns, river restoration, and Minnesota priorities and protocols adds tremendous depth to decision making and discussion.

Scott hanson

Board Member

Scott Hanson serves as a Source Water Protection Specialist with the Minnesota Rural Water Association(MRWA).  He helps rural and small public water suppliers in the state develop and implement their Source Water Protection Plans.

Kay gross

Board Secretary

Kay Gross serves as the District Administrator for the Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District and the Administrative Coordinator for the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA). She brings a local natural resource and conservation adoption perspective that elevates understanding of programs developed for producers.

Linda Meschke

Board Treasurer

Linda Meschke serves as the President of Rural Advantage in Fairmont, MN, which works to "promote the interconnection of Agriculture, the Environment, and Rural Communities".

Jim Klang

Board Member

Jim Klang is the principal of TBL Consultants, LLC in Kalamazoo, MI. He has managed several ecosystem service market development projects in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

Letter From The BOARD

Welcome to Conservation Marketplace Midwest (CMM). I have had the privilege to serve as the Chair of the CMM Board of Directors from 2014-2017. CMM holds a special place in my heart because it combines my personal belief in people and my love of the great outdoors. I personally believe that the overwhelming majority of agricultural producers care about the environment and understand that good stewardship is vital to pass a sustainable, profitable farm down to their future generations.

Due to my past experiences of growing up on a dairy farm and my job as Administrator of the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), I understand how complex farming is in today’s world. In fact, during my 21-year career at the SWCD, I witnessed agriculture become an
increasingly more complex industry each and every year. Farmers face so many day-to-day issues and challenges that often the time to plan for a new conservation practice and acquire the conservation funding necessary is simply not available. Conservation initiatives sometimes get lost in the direct competition for a producer’s attention from so many other necessary business decisions that must be made to survive. That’s where CMM can help make a difference.

The future of CMM looks bright, the vision of the CMM Board is to make streamlined conservation funding sources available to farmers by training their existing agricultural advisors on the rules for emerging private sector funding programs. Private sector programs like corporate supply chain sustainability, well head protection payments, and habitat initiatives are emerging across the country.

My vision for CMM is that CMM will be able to offer farmers multiple conservation funding options, options that can be discussed when their existing trusted advisers come to the farm to provide their traditional services. As market-based funding sources continue to emerge, the CMM Board and staff are working to develop the supporting tools and program infrastructures necessary to generate efficient private markets. Examples of current and past CMM activities include working with buyers in payment for ecosystem service programs (PES), developing corporate supply chain sustainability programs for livestock and feed, and creating quantification tools to measure the environmental improvements.
In a PES program a buyer pays a farmer to install a conservation measure that improves a specific environmental concern such as water quality protection or pollinator habitat.

 

Corporate supply chain responsibility is a quickly emerging approach that has many different looks. Responsibility programs are driven by knowledgeable consumers who wish to support product lines and corporations that have demonstrated social and environmental responsibility. For these consumers, purchases from corporations that only care about minimizing costs of the supply chain materials will be avoided. Instead consumer purchases will be made from companies that consider and address the potential for impacts placed on the supply chain region. The impacts being addressed can include community and family quality of life, and land, air and water quality protection. In order to ensure the accountability and transparency of both PES and corporate supply chain sustainability programs, CMM has supported the development of proper program frameworks and quantification tools to measure the impacts of conservation practices installed as part of program efforts.

At CMM, the goal of the Board of Directors, staff and members is to promote and develop efficient methods to accelerate the emergence and operation of many types of private sector conservation funding sources. There is little doubt in our minds that the future of conservation aligns with CMM’s vision of providing a streamlined and effective offering of conservation funding options to farmers and land managers that will result in a better world tomorrow.