beginning farmers

Legislative Session Heads into its Final Days

Wide Gap Between House & Senate Budget Proposals for Soil Health, Processing Support, Drought Relief

There are less than 20 days left in the 2022 session of the Minnesota Legislature, and with a $9.3 billion surplus, legislators have an historic opportunity to invest in our communities. Throughout the session, Land Stewardship Project members have been advocating for funding to increase access to local meat processing facilities and for helping farmers implement…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 272: Micro Milk Mentorship

Midwestern Farmers Invited to Answer this Question: What Do YOU Want in the New Farm Bill? 

Farmers in Minnesota, Iowa & Wisconsin Asked to Participate in New Survey

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — As discussions around the 2023 Farm Bill get off the ground, a key group of people are being asked to share their views on the future of agricultural policy: farmers. During the next several weeks, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is circulating the National Young Farmer Survey in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin in…  Read More

Making Room for Relationships

How Journeyperson is Helping Racing Heart Pace Itself

Pack-shed or people? That’s the question Les Macare and Els Dobrick are grappling with on a dank day in mid-March as they brave a biting wind to inspect the garden plots, cover crops, and outbuildings on Racing Heart Farm in western Wisconsin. With the exception of some onions sprouting in one of the hoop houses,…  Read More

The Non-Tragedy of the Commons

Cooperative Ownership of Farmland Offers Alternative Access to Acres

Meet Sasa Organic Farms, a collective of Kenyan farmers. Sasa is five family farms: Dawn2Dusk Organic Farms, Lisaviole Farms, Lisaviole Organic Farms, Green Joy Farm, Gedef Organic Farm, and Laurens Organic Farm. They provide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, produce, and seedlings to customers in and around Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Like many beginning farmers, their goal…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 265: Diving into Safer Waters

Nettle Valley Farm’s “informed sink or swim” model of incubating the next generation of farmers. LSP’s Ear to the Ground episode 261 describes Nettle Valley Farm’s silvopasturing system and the work it’s doing to improve pollinator habitat. More information: • LSP’s “Accessing Farmland” Web Page • LSP Farmland Clearinghouse • LSP Farm Beginnings Course •…  Read More

The Importance of Investing in Soil Health & Resilient Rural Communities

Around a decade ago, while driving past a farm field in southeastern Minnesota, Bob Christie turned to DJ Mueller with a nervous question: “So you’re saying my fields are going to look like that?” With farmers adapting to a changing climate and volatile markets, DJ knew that he and Bob must prioritize soil health over…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 255: Embracing the Weed

What happened when beginning farmers Rachelle and Jordan Meyer started listening to the land and turned livestock loose on a “bacterial farm.” • Check out this LSP video on how Rachelle and Jordan Meyer are using “cell grazing” to build soil and produce livestock. • More information on Wholesome Family Farms is here. • For…  Read More

Farm Beginnings Profile: A Raw Deal on Farmland

Using Farm Beginnings & Soil Health to Push Marginal Land Beyond Expectations

There are upsides to launching a farm on raw, open land: no broken-down outbuildings or junk piles to deal with, the ability to truly start anew from the soil up. Then…there’s the other side of the fence, so to speak. “I decided to move the sheep before they move themselves,” says Hannah Bernhardt with a…  Read More

Ear to the Ground No. 252: Stewardship as Measure

Beginning dairy farmer Carrie Redden talks about how she sees successful land stewardship and successful farming as deeply intertwined, and why more non-farmers need to make that connection as well. Carrie Redden was interviewed as part of the We Are Water initiative, which documented the stories of several farmers in the upper reaches of the…  Read More