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MN Legislative Wrap-up: A Mixed Bag for the Environment, Sustainable Ag, Family Farms

One of the most anti-environmental pieces of legislation to come out of the Minnesota Capitol in several years became law on Saturday, June 13. The Agriculture and Environment Omnibus Budget Bill was supposed to provide funding for numerous initiatives of importance to rural Minnesotans. However, as the session wound down, several policy provisions were plugged…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 300: Diversity Trumps Adversity

Illinois farmer Dave Bishop says rural communities can’t “monoculture” their way out of the economic, ecological, and social challenges that plague them. But diversifying successfully isn’t just a numbers game. More Information • Dave Bishop’s PrairiErth Farm • LSP’s Community-Based Food Systems • Ear to the Ground 283: Ken Meter & Building Community Food Webs…  Read More

LSP Minnesota 2018 Legislative Session Wrap-up

From the beginning of the 2018 Minnesota Legislative session, it was clear that corporate interests and their legislative allies were pushing for special treatment at the expense of rural communities, family farmers and Minnesota values. As an example, six days into the session, Dr. Marin Bozic, a dairy economist at the University of Minnesota, testified…  Read More

LSP Minnesota Legislative Wrap-up: Lawmakers Address Local Control, Sustainable Ag, Beginning Farmers

Local Control & Environmental Review Stay Strong Despite Attacks; Some Gains for Sustainable Ag Research & Beginning Farmer Land Access The 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature was highlighted by a tough fight over corporate agriculture’s push to make it easier for factory farms to force their way into communities. Corporate ag and its supporters…  Read More

LSP, Soil Health & Climate Change

In early May, I represented the Land Stewardship Project at “Sequestering Carbon in the Soil: Addressing the Climate Threat,” an international conference held in Paris and organized by Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions. The conference convened 200 scientists, governmental leaders and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from around the world. Attendees included farmers from the Global South…  Read More

Change Comes from the Ground Up

As the staff and member-leaders of the Land Stewardship Project conduct our organization’s work for stewardship and justice on the land, the central concept that keeps arising is “change comes from the ground up.” Whether the subject is farming practices, public policy or community vitality, thinking about positive change in this way is enormously helpful…  Read More

A Water Summit Systemic Solution: Continuously Clean Water Needs Continuous Living Cover

Water, as Land Stewardship Project board member Vince Ready says, is vital for life. When Governor Mark Dayton’s Water Summit takes place on Feb. 27, it’s likely a lot of innovative proposals for solving Minnesota’s water quality crisis will be discussed. That’s good, because this Summit is centered around one of the most basic questions…  Read More

Don’t Trash Corn Stover

It’s been clear for some time that the biofuels industry needs to wean itself off of the corn ethanol spigot. Numerous studies show that utilizing the kernels of corn to distill fuel are playing havoc with food and feed prices, while contributing to a devastating plow-up of grassland, hayland, wetlands and just about any perennial…  Read More

Forever Green’s New Crop of Researchers

During a recent Land Stewardship Letter roundtable discussion about Forever Green (see “Forever Green: Relaying Resiliency” blog), eight University of Minnesota graduate students working on the initiative responded to the question, “What excites you most about this research?” New Tools Have Compressed Time • Kevin Dorn has been mapping the genome for pennycress, which holds…  Read More