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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

Why ‘Middleman’ Doesn’t Have to be a Dirty Word for Farmers

At a time when we’re all scanning the dark horizon of recession land for any economic spark, local food systems look to be a flare-up that’s got some staying power. The past several weeks have been full of signs that both in Minnesota and nationally producing and consuming food in our own collective backyard isn’t…  Read More

The Food Desert’s Hidden Oasis

While spending time in western Minnesota’s Big Stone County recently, I came across a lot of talk about food deserts—those places where people don’t have good access to healthy, affordable food. But while interviewing LSP organizer Rebecca Terk for this week’s podcast, an interesting twist emerged: a type of food desert can exist even when…  Read More

Putting Out the Welcome Mat for New Agrarians

There are numerous ways of communicating the value society places on having more family farmers on the land, not fewer. This morning, the USDA announced it was awarding $18 million in grants to groups that are helping beginning farmers nationwide. That sends an important message that the federal government, thanks to initiatives put in the…  Read More

Mob Rule in Livestock Land

What do you do when a resource becomes increasingly scarce? One option is to use it more efficiently. That’s a key point livestock producer Greg Judy is going to make Sept. 9-10 in Alexandria during what promises to be a fascinating set of workshops. In this case, the resource that’s becoming harder to come by…  Read More

In the Middle of Somewhere

Carrie Calvo's Long Journey to the Heart of Farming & Local Food

Owl Bluff Farm is tucked away in one of those Driftless Area coulees where cellular signals go to die. In fact, when contractors were constructing a building there recently, they sometimes climbed half-way up an abandoned silo on the farm to use their phones. It has a sense of being an isolated, if beautiful, little…  Read More

Johnson-Su Bioreactor Construction Events

This is the second year of a two-year research project through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture looking into creating on-farm compost recipes using the Johnson-Su Bioreactor design. Land Stewardship Project staff are working with five farms to build a total of 10 bioreactors in the month of June 2022. We are looking for 3 to…  Read More

Brian DeVore

Brian DeVore joined LSP’s staff in 1994 and his responsibilities include coordinating media relations, editing the Land Stewardship Letter, producing the Ear to the Ground podcast, administering the organization’s website, and editing special publications. DeVore grew up on a crop and livestock farm in southwestern Iowa and, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, operated a dairy…  Read More