What with ridiculously high land prices and Washington’s inability to focus on agriculture long enough to pass a Farm Bill, it’s easy to get down about the prospects for beginning farmers these days. That’s why a national meeting held in Rochester, Minn., earlier this month was so important—not only because it proved that there are… Read More →
By the time he was 20, Nolan Lenzen had already completed a dairy management course at a local college and launched a farming career in partnership with his father and grandfather. They were milking 90 cows in a tie-stall barn and cropping 300 acres near the south-central Minnesota community of Watertown. Some might say it… Read More →
When it comes to farming, oftentimes things don’t work out as planned—and sometimes that’s a good thing. Take for example Greg and Nancy Rasmussen, who on a recent fall afternoon are checking on some newly arrived chicks gathered under heat lamps in their barn. When the Rasmussens enrolled in the Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings course… Read More →
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 →
Farm Beginnings graduates adapt to a new geographic region using low-risk techniques.
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 →
Ready for the Next Step (part 1) Jon Kaiser is less than a year away from paying off his Farm Beginnings livestock loan. He smiles when he says this, because it means he’s just a little bit closer to making farming more than just a fantasy. “I’m surprised I’ve come this far,” says the 35-year-old… Read More →