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Crop Insurance: A Safety Net Becomes a Threat

When it comes to the crop insurance sweepstakes, southwest Minnesota farmer Darwyn Bach is a winner. But he concedes that his good fortune presents a quandary, since the way the program is implemented these days creates significant losers: the soil, beginning farmers and Main Street businesses that suffer when the number of families in a…  Read More

Getting the Facts Straight on Environmental Review & Factory Farms

The Land Stewardship Project has been fighting a proposal making its way through the Minnesota Legislature this year that would double the size factory farms can be before environmental review is required. Proponents of the bill are pushing hard, and have been justifying this outrageous proposal by providing inaccurate information about the history of the…  Read More

We Are Not Fated to Repeat Dirty History

The United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. That’s fitting, given how reliant the entire world is on keeping our soil in place, as well as keeping it healthy. But this isn’t exactly new information: years ago I happened upon a 1953 pamphlet called Conquest of the Land Through…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: The Incubator Acre

A to Z's Mini-Plot is a Vital Link in the Beginning Farmer Chain

When Lauren Barry pulls a weed or harvests a tomato this summer, she’s doing so on a one-acre plot of land steeped in history. Not the ancient, dusty kind that may or may not have relevance to the current situation, but history rooted in recent growing seasons, when other beginning farmers faced the same meteorological,…  Read More

Soil Health & Racial Justice — What?!

Farmers Seeking to Create a Just, De-centralized, Diverse Food & Farming System Talk Economic & Racial Justice

The Questions… What does soil health have to do with racial justice? Why does the Land Stewardship Project write articles and posts about racial justice for mostly homogenous, white audiences in rural, farming communities? From time to time, LSP soil health organizers are asked these questions by farmers at our field days and workshops. Some…  Read More

What Makes a Welcoming Community?

I became a member-leader of the Land Stewardship Project to help achieve justice for the people and the land. By identifying our self-interest, listening to our neighbors, and acting on our values, I also believe that we can become a welcoming community. Doug Nopar,who worked for many years as a rural LSP organizer, believes that…  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

Time to Level the Farming Playing Fields for BIPOC

Systemic racism is ingrained in all of our institutions, including our farm and food system. Achieving structural change and justice begins with standing together, walking alongside each other, and lifting up voices that need to be heard to express outrage and to demand a new status quo. In honor of “Juneteenth,” the annual holiday commemorating…  Read More

Robbing the Farm or Enriching the Farm: Which is the Better Way?

Ross Cooper and his family raise canning and grain crops on their Century Farm in Spring Valley in southeastern Minnesota. Shortly after his son was born, Ross converted to no-till to cut down on the amount of time he was spending in the tractor. More recently, he has begun integrating cover crops into the farming…  Read More