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Environmental Review & ‘Real Ag’

When Renville County dairy farmer James Kanne addressed a Minnesota Senate hearing on environmental review Jan. 29, he made it clear that size does matter when it comes to assessing the impact of an agricultural operation on the land and community. “If you have 50 cows in one spot, they have a small impact,” Kanne…  Read More

LSP Applauds MPCA Citizens’ Board Ordering of EIS on Massive Dairy Factory Farm

Historical Move Puts Mega-Operation Under the Microscope The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board ruled this week that Riverview LLP’s proposed 8,850-cow dairy operation in Stevens County must undergo an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To my knowledge, this is the first time that the MPCA has ordered an EIS of a factory farm. The…  Read More

Forever Green Receives $1 Million

Early this morning, the Minnesota Legislature took a major step toward supporting the kind of agriculture that can green up our landscape in a way that’s economically viable for farmers. Conference committee negotiations produced $1 million for Forever Green, an innovative University of Minnesota research initiative involving cover crops and perennial plant systems. Funding for…  Read More

The Roots in Wild Places

Having just come from working several seasons as an outdoor educator, I have had ample time to appreciate our wild places. In my previous position as an instructor leading canoe and dogsled trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I was able to explore the interactions between humans and nature and marvel in the…  Read More

Getting at the Root of our Nitrogen Problem

Good things go bad when out of their rightful places. Take farm fertilizer and soil, essential ingredients in the field but all wrong in the 27 percent of Minnesota lakes now too contaminated to drink. Last month’s report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) blasted corn-and-soybean agriculture as the major source of nitrogen contamination…  Read More

Nitrogen Pollution’s Farm Policy Roots

Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. When Minnesota environmental officials announced the results of a new major nitrogen pollution study on Thursday, they were surprisingly frank about how bad the problem is, but just as surprisingly hesitant to name a major underlying cause: federal farm policy. First the problem: basically, the Minnesota Pollution…  Read More

Troubled Waters Remain Troubled

A three-hour drive separates the rolling hills of Minnesota’s Douglas County from the front steps of the Bell Museum of Natural History. But a year after the controversy over Troubled Waters—the Bell’s Emmy award-winning film on farmland pollution in the Mississippi River basin—brought words like “dead zone,” hypoxia” and “nitrogen fertilizer” to the attention of…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 253: The Power of Local Meat Processing

Livestock producer Eric Klein of Hidden Stream Farm describes why and how his family launched its own meat processing business. It’s been a financial and logistical challenge, but a few years down the road it’s already producing benefits for their farm as well as the local community. If you’re thinking of getting into small-scale meat…  Read More

Land Line: Mega-Dairy Moratorium, Price-Fixing, Carbon Belt, Carbon Credits, Organic Sales

Jan. 22: An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities New Oregon Legislation Would put a Moratorium on Building Mega-Dairies. What Happens Next? (1/21/21) A coalition of food safety, environmental, and family farm groups is pushing for a moratorium on mega-dairy construction in Oregon, reports The Counter. Highlights: If passed, the legislation would…  Read More