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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: Crop Diversity, Hmong Farmers, Ag Secretary Rumors, Ag Policy Changes, Meatpacker Abuse

Nov. 13 : An LSP Round-up of News Covering Land, People & Communities Crop Diversification Can Help Environment Without Sacrificing Yields (11/12/20) A new study shows diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields, reports Morning Ag Clips. But an Iowa…  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

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

Who Benefits When Emerging Farmers Can’t Succeed?

Emerging Farmers: What Do You Think of This Proposed Legislation?

Last year, the Land Stewardship Project celebrated the historic investments in emerging farmers that we won at the Minnesota Capitol. One of these wins included doubling the funding for and prioritizing emerging farmer applicants within the Minnesota Farmland Down Payment Assistance Program, which the Land Stewardship Project worked on with the Midwest Farmers of Color…  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

2024 Minnesota Legislative Session Update: Less Than One Month Left! 

There is less than one month left in the 2024 Minnesota legislative session. This week, the House and Senate are finalizing and passing their separate omnibus policy and supplemental budget bills, which will then be sent to conference committees where differences between the proposals will be hammered out.   This session, the Land Stewardship Project has…  Read More

Renting It Out Right: A Hilltop View of the Land’s Potential

Mark Erickson’s Relationship with Landowners is Rooted in Healthy Soil

When considering significant changes to the way one farms, there’s nothing like a couple acres of convincer, a template for the potential offered up by tapping into the land’s ability to build soil health in an economically viable manner utilizing livestock and perennial plants. Mark Erickson points out just such a personal proving ground on…  Read More