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MinnesotaCare is a Life Line for Many

Land Stewardship is about what is good for the land, good for community and good for people. Affordable health insurance like MinnesotaCare is good for people. I have lived, worked and attended school in the City of Winona for nearly 40 years. My parents moved here in 1989 to spend the end of their lives…  Read More

Sustainable Ag’s Most Critical Conversation

What is the most critical discussion that needs to take place to ensure a sustainable food and farming system long into the future? Is it one on policy, farming techniques, green technology, consumer preferences or soil fertility? No. It’s the conversation that takes place between Nettie and Gerald during LSP’s play, Look Who’s Knockin’, which…  Read More

What CapX2020 (& Bad Public Policy) Could Destroy

As LSP’s latest action alert makes clear, the companies behind the CapX2020 high voltage line are trying to get away with not paying for the true value of the Minnesota farm operations they will be destroying. Unfortunately, the attitude that land which isn’t sprouting industrial infrastructure or subdivisions is nothing more than cheap”wasted space” is…  Read More

Is That a Trophy Hunter Knockin’ on the Door?

What with farmland changing hands at price levels that would make a Beverly Hills realtor blanch, one could be forgiven for jumping to an obvious conclusion: Farm Country is flush with cash these days. Indeed, based on pure numbers, the statistics are impressive. Midwestern farmland values increased 16 percent in 2012, the third largest gain…  Read More

Restoring the Resource

I coordinate a project in western Minnesota that is based on the idea that producing positive environmental impacts in a watershed can happen without having to remake the entire region’s landscape. Scientific studies and on-the-farm experience suggest that just a 10 percent increase in diverse crop rotations, grasses and other perennial plant systems can be enough to meaningfully improve the safety of the water, reduce flood potential, restore wildlife habitat and stimulate a thriving local and regional foods economy. This is especially true if we can target fields that are particularly sensitive to problems like erosion.

LSP Member Speaks Out Against Frac Sand Development

On Friday July 20th I traveled with a group from St. Charles to the Chippewa Falls area to view first hand the frac-sand industry. I was so impacted by what I saw I felt I had to share my thoughts. The size and scope of the processing facilities was far greater than I had anticipated.

Crop Insurance: A Safety Net Becomes a Threat

When it comes to the crop insurance sweepstakes, southwest Minnesota farmer Darwyn Bach is a winner. But he concedes that his good fortune presents a quandary, since the way the program is implemented these days creates significant losers: the soil, beginning farmers and Main Street businesses that suffer when the number of families in a…  Read More

Conversations with the Land

Many good arguments can be made for supporting a type of agriculture less reliant on energy, technology and Wall Street, and more on soil, communities and people: it’s better for the environment, produces good food and keeps more Main Street businesses open, to name a few. But after reading Jim Van Der Pol’s just-published collection…  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