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Healthy Soil, Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities (2nd of 2 parts)

Talking about the importance of feeding soil microbes is fine. Speaking with your feet is even better. “Take a closer look—anything you tramp down is just carbon in the soil,” quips soil conservationist Jay Fuhrer on a Thursday afternoon in early September. As he says this, he’s beckoning some 120 farmers and others to follow…  Read More

Healthy Soil, Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities (1st of 2 parts)

On a crisp morning in September, North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown held two handfuls of soil and searched for signs of life—theoretically not a difficult task considering one teaspoon of humus contains more organisms than there are humans in the world. But many of the bacteria and invertebrates that lurk in the dark basement of…  Read More

SE MN Farmers Invited to Join Soil Builders’ Network

LEWISTON, Minn. — If you are a crop or livestock farmer in southeastern Minnesota, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) invites you to join the Soil Builders’ Network to receive regular updates on workshops, field days and on-farm demonstrations related to the latest in soil health and cover-cropping. The Soil Builders’ Network was launched earlier this…  Read More

A Hub of Soil Health Activity

How Indiana is using cover cropping and early adopters as ‘gateways’ into a deeper understanding of sustainable soil management. It’s an overcast August morning in northeastern Indiana, and in a massive machine shed well stocked with the tools of a modern row crop operation, some 60 farmers are being reminded that growing corn and soybeans…  Read More

The Story Behind LSP’s Soil Health & Climate Campaign

From Inception to Winning $5.35 Million in State Soil Health Dollars & Beyond

Land Stewardship Project members believe that the kind of agricultural system and democracy we have is up to us. Our members are the experts when it comes to their communities and farms and, together, we can and must make regenerative agriculture the norm, rather than the exception. We believe our public institutions exist to serve the…  Read More

The King of Cover Cropping

An Indiana initiative has made the state a national leader in getting continuous living cover established on crop acres. Can it change the way farmers view soil? Michael Werling is, literally, a card-carrying connoisseur of soil health. “I call it, ‘My ticket to a farm tour,’ ” says the northeastern Indiana crop producer, showing off…  Read More

Digging into a Soil Health Test

A streak of creativity brightens the landscape when farmers join forces with scientists to investigate “the standard” of what we thought we already knew. Take, for example, the fresh look at how soil functions—collectively called soil health—that has been the talk of Land Stewardship Project workshops and field days the past five years or so.…  Read More

Soil Health: Eyes on the Underground Acres

Unearthing the Links Between Soil Health, Farm Profits & Water Quality Building soil health may be about bugs, bacteria, and biology, but justifying farming practices that nurture such a natural process often comes down to a human-generated gauge of success: how much money does it put (or keep) in the bank? On a sunny day…  Read More

Soil Health: Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Dividends

How One Farm’s Focus on Soil Health Helped Make Row-Cropping Viable…& Fun The economic benefits of building soil health are a balancing act between immediate payoff and delayed gratification. In an ideal situation, the source of those quick profits will set the foundation for a longer-term investment that pays dividends. For example, Dawn and Grant…  Read More

LSP’s Farmer Network: A Voice at the Other End of the Line

The call came in the night. On the end of the line was the panicked voice of Tyler Carlson, a 26-year-old beginning farmer who was starting a grazing operation in west-central Minnesota. It seems that while making a long-distance move of the cowherd he had just purchased a few days before, a baby calf had…  Read More