Farm Beginnings

Beginning Farmer Program for MN, WI & IA Accepting Applications for 2022-2023 Course

Farm Beginnings Marks a Quarter Century of Training Ag’s Next Generation

LEWISTON, Minn. — One of the most successful beginning farmer training programs in the country is now accepting applications for its 2022-2023 course session serving the Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa region. The Land Stewardship Project’s (LSP) Farm Beginnings initiative is a year-long training program that focuses on the goal-setting, marketing and financial skills needed to…  Read More

Small, Complex & Focused

Not Doing Everything Makes Minding the Little Things Even More Crucial

Smaller doesn’t always mean simpler. Consider Cella Langer and Emmet Fisher’s foray into being a Grade A micro-dairy — one that produces, processes, packages, markets, and sells pasteurized milk and yogurt. In a state that has lost 40,000 dairy farms in the past four decades, they are a tiny push in the opposite direction. How…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 272: Micro Milk Mentorship

Government regulators may be befuddled by Cella Langer and Emmet Fisher’s tiny dairy, but these Farm Beginnings/Journeyperson grads know exactly where it fits into their business. More information: • Land Stewardship Letter Oxheart Farm profile • Oxheart Farm • LSP’s Farm Beginnings • LSP’s Journeyperson • MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship Program You can find LSP Ear to the…  Read More

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

Ear to the Ground 264: Center of the Universe

Pack-shed or people? LSP’s Journeyperson helped vegetable producers Les Macare and Els Dobrick make a big decision about a recent growing season. More information: • Land Stewardship Letter Racing Heart Farm profile • LSP’s Journeyperson Course • LSP’s Farm Beginnings Course • Racing Heart Farm You can find LSP Ear to the Ground podcast episodes…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 263: Public Investment in Public Goods

Anna Racer and Pete Skold have used state and federal “spark plugs” to build a farm enterprise infrastructure that’s good not just for them, but the community as well. Back in 2012, we interviewed Racer and Skold soon after they graduated from Farm Beginnings and launched Waxwing Farm. Check out that conversation on Ear to…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 262: A Silvo Secondary Enterprise

Rachel Henderson and Anton Ptak’s secondary enterprise could be a boon for farm country pollinators. (In 2010, Henderson and Ptak were featured on Ear to the Ground soon after they launched their orchard enterprise. Check out episode 78 here.) More information: • LSP’s Farm Beginnings Course • LSP’s Journeyperson Course • LSP’s Grazing & Soil Health web…  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