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Farm Beginnings Profile: Andy Cotter & Irene Genelin

Wheeling into the Future

It’s not every day that you see the words “unicyclists” and “farming” used in the same sentence, but here we go: national and world champion unicyclists Andy Cotter and Irene Genelin launched a farming operation a half-a-dozen years ago. Now, this is the part of the story that cries out for a familiar trope like…  Read More

Eating Our Own Farm Financial Cooking

One winter evening in 1999 I was sitting in on a Farm Beginnings class being held in the southeast Minnesota community of Plainview when a local banker stood up and made a statement that about knocked me out of my chair. “We need to eat our own cooking,” said the banker, Dean Harrington. The statement…  Read More

MN Farmer Calls for Racial Justice in Rural Communities During Rural Progressive Strategy Summit in DC

Minnesota Part of 10-State Rural & Small Town Organizing Strategy WASHINGTON, D.C.—Racial justice is an essential element in developing a food and farming system that supports healthy and prosperous rural communities, said central Minnesota farmer Laura Frerichs today during a national rural progressive strategy summit at the National Press Club in Washington. Frerichs, a member…  Read More

Cover Crops, Roller Crimping & Organics Focus of Austin Field Day Sept 7

Contact: Barb Sogn-Frank, LSP, 507-479-9119, e-mail AUSTIN, Minn. — Cover Crops, roller crimping and organics will be the focus of a soil health field day Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Ruth and Jon Jovaag farm near Austin (53504 173rd Street). This Land Stewardship Project (LSP) event will run from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and…  Read More

Land Line: Greenwashing Manure, Climate & Organics, Graziers Needed, Black Farmers, Rural Health Crisis

Jan. 7: An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities As the Livestock Industry Touts Manure-to-Energy Projects, Environmentalists Cry ‘Greenwashing’ (12/7/21) Inside Climate News reports that as utilities, oil companies, and livestock companies pitch biogas (turning manure into energy) as an emissions-reducing solution, critics say it simply locks in systems that allow two…  Read More

Farm Transitions: That Farm on Highway 40

A Pioneering Organic Operation, a Trial Run, & the Next Generation Black, ominous clouds were approaching fast, and Luke Peterson was in a bit of a panic as he stood next to his tractor parked in an 80-acre soybean field, scanning the sky. Hooked up to that tractor was a rotary hoe, and before this…  Read More

Passing on the Farm: Some Preventive Maintenance

On the Internet, you’re only as old as you feel—at least until the person you’re corresponding with travels from two states away to meet you face-to-face. When Dave and Deb Welsch started communicating via e-mail with Steve and Shelley Lorenz in 2007, a lot of assumptions were made about the age of the parties on…  Read More

Bud Markhart’s Sustainable Legacy

The sustainable agriculture community lost a true friend this week when Bud Markhart passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. I had the opportunity to interview Markhart last fall for an LSP podcast. He was a professor of horticultural science at the U of M, and so it’s no surprise that he made his…  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