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In the Middle of Somewhere

Carrie Calvo's Long Journey to the Heart of Farming & Local Food

Owl Bluff Farm is tucked away in one of those Driftless Area coulees where cellular signals go to die. In fact, when contractors were constructing a building there recently, they sometimes climbed half-way up an abandoned silo on the farm to use their phones. It has a sense of being an isolated, if beautiful, little…  Read More

People Power Wins in Winona County

NOTE: At the Land Stewardship Project’s event celebrating the passage of the Winona County frac sand ban in southeastern Minnesota, LSP Winona County Organizing Committee members reflected on their involvement and the work that went into organizing the successful campaign for a ban. Committee member Cathy Groebner of St. Charles, Minn., gave these remarks at…  Read More

LSP Member Speaks Out Against Frac Sand Development

On Friday July 20th I traveled with a group from St. Charles to the Chippewa Falls area to view first hand the frac-sand industry. I was so impacted by what I saw I felt I had to share my thoughts. The size and scope of the processing facilities was far greater than I had anticipated.

Anatomy of a Grassroots Campaign

How citizens in one Minnesota county put values into action to attain a win for the land and their community. On November 22, 2016, history was made in southeastern Minnesota’s Winona County when the Board of Commissioners there passed a ban on any new frac sand operations. It is the first known countywide ban on…  Read More

Winona County & Frac Sand: Letting the Fox Guard (& Build) the Hen House

UPDATE (11/12/12): Since this blog was originally published, Winona County was informed by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board that the error of stating that the MPCA did the Environmental Assessment Worksheet means that the process must be restarted. The new timeline has not yet been established. This is a good first step and Winona County…  Read More

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

A Report from Wisconsin’s Sand Counties

In late May, I traveled to western Wisconsin’s Chippewa and Barron counties to see frac sand mining and processing sites firsthand. I particularly wanted to see the EOG processing plant in Chippewa Falls — one of the largest of its kind in existence — because last year, a company called Minnesota Proppant proposed an even…  Read More

Spencer Award Winners: A Farm as Change Agent

On a blustery late summer day, Jan Libbey and Tim Landgraf hike through a waist-high prairie to the top of a dramatic knob on their farm in north-central Iowa. As they stand amongst big bluestem, Indian grass and switchgrass, corn and soybean fields flow in every direction, the monocultural landscape broken up only by a…  Read More

It’s a Wrap: The Largest Family Farm Breakfast & Lobby Day in LSP History

LSP Members Made their Voices Heard at the Capitol on April 13

On Thursday, April 13, over 300 Land Stewardship Project members, supporters, staff, and elected and appointed public officials gathered in Saint Paul for our 17th Family Farm Breakfast & Lobby Day – the largest Family Farm Breakfast in LSP history! This year, the event was co-hosted by: Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) ♦ Climate Land Leaders…  Read More