University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

U of M, Freshwater Society, to sponsor talk “Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production”

February 11, 2011Patrick NunnallyUncategorizedComments Off on U of M, Freshwater Society, to sponsor talk “Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production”

I don’t think anyone needs reminding of the controversial, and complicated, connections between agricultural production and water quality.

The University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences and the Freshwater Society, a nonprofit analysis and education group from the Twin Cities region, are co-sponsoring a lecture in two weeks, Thursday, Feb. 24, continuing the discussion of the land use/water quality nexus.

Full press release follows:

Feb. 8, 2011

Media Contact:
Patrick Sweeney
Freshwater Society

“Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production”

Soil and water conservation expert Craig A. Cox to speak on agricultural runoff and water quality

Fourth lecture in the Moos Family speaker series sponsored by Freshwater Society and University of Minnesota

Agricultural runoff – fertilizers and manure from cultivated fields and feedlots, and sediment washed away by erosion – pollutes many U.S. lakes and rivers.

Craig A. Cox of the Environmental Working Group will talk about the agricultural pollution problem and strategies for reducing it in a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 24, at the University of Minnesota.

“There are a number of simple and highly effective practices that farmers can use to dramatically cut pollution while sustaining high levels of production,” Cox says. “Many farmers are already using these practices, but not nearly enough to clean up our lakes, rivers and streams. Poor public policy and institutional inertia stand in the way of getting the job done.”

Cox’s lecture will be at 7 p.m. in the theater of the St. Paul Student Center on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. The lecture, supported by an endowment honoring former university president Malcolm Moos, is free and open to the public.

But seating is limited, and registration is required. To register, go to

A panel of Minnesota experts on agriculture and water quality will appear with Cox.

Cox has worked on land and water conservation for nearly 30 years for agencies that include the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. As senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, he coordinates the organization’s research and advocacy on agriculture, renewable energy and climate change.

The lecture will touch on conservation practices that can reduce agricultural runoff and current economic incentives that either encourage or discourage conservation. Cox will address a key public policy question: What anti-pollution costs should landowners and farm operators bear, and what land-use and management changes should be paid for by taxpayers?

The St. Paul Student Center is located at 2017 Buford St., near Cleveland Avenue, on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.

Previous lecturers in the series have been: Robert Glennon, a University of Arizona law professor who has written two books on water sustainability; Hedrick Smith, an Emmy-winning film maker who produced “Poisoned Waters,” a Public Broadcasting System “Frontline” documentary; and Louis J. Guillette Jr., an acclaimed wildlife biologist from the Medical University of South Carolina.

About the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences

The College of Biological Sciences provides education and conducts research in all areas of biology, from molecules to ecosystems, supporting applications in medicine, renewable energy, ecosystem management, agriculture and biotechnology. For more information about research and degree programs, go to

About the Freshwater Society

The Freshwater Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring people to value, conserve and protect all water resources. Located in Excelsior, Minn., adjacent to Lake Minnetonka, it has a long history of association with the University of Minnesota. For more information, go to

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