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Kevin Kuehner, MDA hydrologist and researcher (left), Wayne DeWall, participating farmer (center), and RRFSP walkover technician Ron Meiners (right) pause at the edge-of-field monitoring station in DeWall's field. Data collected at this station over many years is now informing on-farm management decisions throughout the region. Image courtesy of Paula Mohr, “The Farmer” magazine.

Strong Relationships Result in Conservation Action

In southeast Minnesota, we are fortunate to have an abundant supply of groundwater. It is the water we drink and the source of water in local trout streams. However, the unique geology of this region makes it vulnerable to contamination. A complex network of cracks, open channels, and caves below the surface provides a quick and direct path for surface water to reach groundwater. As water travels over the landscape it can carry contaminants such as bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers and road salt underground.

Pinhook Day Embrace, 2015. Image courtesy of David Todd Lawrence.

Storying Pinhook: Representing the Community, the Floods, and the Struggle

When They Blew the Levee is a fierce love letter to the power of community, one encoded to Black sociality, the broader American social imaginary, and the mythical power of the Mississippi River. In praxis, it is a political tool—a lyrical baseball bat—for the residents of Pinhook, Missouri to wield in a rally against the sustained structural violence of a biased justice system and racialized world.