Storytelling Project 
By Kent Scheer

A Local Storytelling Project 

When you live in a farming region, like we do, you will hear the occasional complaint about a plane over-spraying herbicide on someone's roses or about a family who lost their well from water pollution. We tend to skim past these accounts. Maybe that's because it's not anyone we really know or even because it just sounds like complaining.

But, hear that story firsthand from the man or woman who lived it and it is no longer forgettable. These cases of industrial ag carelessness bring real illness, anger, and despair. People stay awake, lose gardens, throw away sheets and pillowcases, and even move. Dreams are lost and lives are changed.

Toxic Taters is making a collection of personal stories from people whose lives have been affected by neighboring large-scale agricultural excess. The purpose is to show just how real and life changing this can be.  Examples worth telling would be families experiencing water pollution, run-off, chemical overspray, noise pollution, or overwhelming odors.

If you have a story please share it. You can begin by contacting for details.

No matter what your writing ability, if you tell it to your best, people will listen.

Irrigation Mapping Project
Colleen Truskey designed the following maps showing Minnesota irrigation system and how potential contamination could affect our communities and environment. See Maps below.

Created by Colleen Truskey for Toxic Taters | 2019-2020 | WGS 1984 UTM Zone 15N | Bureau of Indian Affairs (American Indian Land Areas); United States Census Bureau (States, Counties, County Subdivisions, Urban Areas, Primary and Secondary Roads); Minnesota Department of Agriculture (Water Aquifer Vulnerability); Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Land Management Information Center (Groundwater Contamination Susceptibility); United States Geological Survey (Hydrology, Landcover); Minnesota Geological Survey and Minnesota Department of Health (County Well Index) | These maps are for generalized display only and should not be used for site-specific purposes. Data is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete, and may change over time.

Note from Colleen;
The groundwater contamination susceptibility and water aquifer vulnerability layers don't refer to specific pesticides, but rather a generalized ranking of how easily contaminated the groundwater/water aquifer could be based on geology, geomorphology, soil makeup, etc. The point of these maps is to demonstrate that where the water aquifer is most vulnerable we see the highest density of irrigation wells, which serve as a proxy for industrial agriculture endeavors and associated pesticide use. While certain townships bear a more significant burden of irrigation wells and agricultural activity, the pesticides/fertilizers used undoubtedly impact a much broader region based on the susceptibility/vulnerability of the water aquifers.
Biomonitoring Project
Testing youth in Wadena for contamination. More info to come shortly. Link below about the project.


Toxic Taters depends on many hands to make our efforts work.  Volunteers lead the organization, defining our vision and strategies, and carrying out the actions with support from a very small staff.  We thank everyone who gives of their time and energy.  We also thank all those individuals who support our work through financial contributions as well as the following foundations; Ceres Trust, LUSH Philanthropies, RESIST, Headwaters Foundation, Patagonia, and Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society.


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Toxic Taters Coalition