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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

Land Line: CC Incentive, Labor & Farmers Unite, Black Farmers & Climate Change, COVID Meatpacker Scrutiny, Swine Drugs & Super Bugs

Feb. 5: An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities More Farmers Are Planting Cover Crops Thanks To State Incentive Programs (1/29/21) Harvest Public Media reports on how state incentive programs are boosting the planting of cover crops in Iowa and Illinois. Highlights: In both states, farmers can qualify for discounts on their…  Read More

Land Line: Carbon Cow Stomp, CC Myths, Record Plantings, Dairy Bankruptcies, Rural COVID Cases, Dangerous Line Speeds

Feb. 21: An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities A Different Kind of Land Management: Let the Cows Stomp (2/17/21) The New York Times writes about how Texas cattle producer Adam Isaacs is using regenerative grazing to reclaim worn-out, weedy pastureland on some 5,000 acres. Highlights: Regenerative grazing means closely managing where…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: A Raw Deal on Farmland

Using Farm Beginnings & Soil Health to Push Marginal Land Beyond Expectations

There are upsides to launching a farm on raw, open land: no broken-down outbuildings or junk piles to deal with, the ability to truly start anew from the soil up. Then…there’s the other side of the fence, so to speak. “I decided to move the sheep before they move themselves,” says Hannah Bernhardt with a…  Read More

Homegrown Homeland Security

While sitting in a western Wisconsin high school auditorium listening to farmers and other rural residents discussing urban sprawl the other evening, I was struck by an epiphany of sorts: the argument for saving farmland near our cities and suburbs has evolved beyond the “let’s save our pretty viewscapes” phase. Protecting prime farmland from the…  Read More

Report Shows Violation of Regulations Common Practice for Frac Sand Industry

Wisconsin Example Serves as a Warning to Minnesota Communities A new Land Stewardship Project report released today shows that the frac sand mining industry in Wisconsin is systemically disregarding state regulations, a red flag to communities in Minnesota that are grappling with the onslaught of this industrial activity. The report, which is based on an…  Read More

Land Line: Dairy Claw Back, Faux Meat, Vilsack’s USDA, Small Dairy-Big Benefits, Meat Processing Challenges

Dec. 11: An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities Dean Foods Seeks to Get Back Money Paid to Dairy Farmers Before Bankruptcy (12/10/20) Hundreds of dairy farmers nationwide fear they could owe substantial sums to the bankrupt dairy processor Dean Foods after the company sent out letters attempting to claw back payments…  Read More

Dear Gov. Dayton: Consider the Economic Facts of Frac Sand

Dear Governor Dayton, I understand you met with frac sand industry representatives yesterday. I would imagine their rhetoric included the promise of jobs and state competitiveness. Before accepting their statements as fact, I encourage you to consider the following: • According to Industrial Minerals, Wisconsin produces more frac sand than any other state. • According…  Read More

How We Can Help Beginning Farmers Overcome One of Their Biggest Barriers

Perhaps despite my better judgement, I made the decision several years ago to alter my career trajectory and become a farmer. As a former farm kid from the plains of southwestern Minnesota, it shouldn’t have been that crazy a notion, and I thought I’d have a leg-up getting my farm started. Despite rural connections and…  Read More