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Farm Transition Profile: A High-Value Apprenticeship

When Nathan Vergin applied to work as an apprentice on Polyface Farm in Virginia back in the mid-2000s, he had to undergo a three-day “working interview.” Vergin, who grew up helping out on a sheep dairy near Northfield, Minn., passed the trial by fire, and went on to serve a two-year apprenticeship with the farm’s…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: Jon & Mindy Kaiser

Ready for the Next Step (part 1) Jon Kaiser is less than a year away from paying off his Farm Beginnings livestock loan. He smiles when he says this, because it means he’s just a little bit closer to making farming more than just a fantasy. “I’m surprised I’ve come this far,” says the 35-year-old…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: A Land-Based Launching Pad

Four Winds Farm Serves as a Staging Ground for New Agrarians

On a warm day in early October, the owner-operators of Clover Bee Farm are preparing a delivery for the 43 shareholders that make up their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable operation. Standing in a hoop house, Andrew Hanson-Pierre cleans dozens of fat onions, while across the farmyard in a barn that’s been converted to a…  Read More

Farm Transitions: A Transition Power Team

A Farm Transfers Ownership & a Farmer Transfers into a New Role What’s that stuff in soil that’s supposed to provide humans a sense of wellbeing? You know, like a protozoa-based version of Prozac? Emmalyn Kayser is trying to come up with the name on a recent March afternoon as she and Chris Burkhouse squat…  Read More

Farm Transitions Profile: The Making of a Successful Farm Owner

When Timing is Everything, Sometimes it Pays to Manipulate the Calendar

Harvey Benson had a simple transition plan for the farm that had been in his family since the late 1860s: he would continue living on those 160 acres until he died, and then it would be passed on to his partner, Bonita Underbakke. In fact, when people ask him if he’s lived on the farm…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: Amy Haben & Tom Moore

Making a Farm a Working Asset

Amy Haben and Tom Moore ride a golf cart over a rickety wooden bridge spanning Otter Creek and follow a path to a lush pasture where a couple dozen head of Scottish Highland cattle graze, their shaggy coats luminescent in the late afternoon sun of a June day. “Before they grazed the edge of the…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: Micro Goals-Big Plans

Walking down a sloping lane on a spring afternoon, Luke and Liana Tessum surprise an Angus beef cow wandering up from a bottomland paddock. The lone bovine, and 18 cow-calf pairs grazing on the pasture below, represent the reaching of what the 30-something couple calls yet one more “micro-goal.” In December, the Tessums paid off…  Read More

Our Minnesota Food & Farm Campaign Platform

LSP's Priorities for the 2023 MN Legislature

This summer and fall, Land Stewardship Project members have been hard at work preparing for the 2023 Minnesota state legislative session, which begins on Tuesday, January 3. Hundreds of LSP members, supporters, and allies across the state have engaged in workshops, surveys, and one-to-one visits to lay out what they’re excited for our organization to…  Read More