Loon Commons Blog

Crop Insurance: Let the New Generation of Farmers In

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Jim VanDerPol The Land Stewardship Project recently published a three-part expose of the federal crop insurance program. The white papers are titled: “Crop Insurance-the Corporate Connection,” “Crop Insurance Ensures the Big Get Bigger” and “How Crop Insurance Hurts the Next Generation of Farmers.” The final paper title provides the key to LSP’s concern. The… Read more »

A Little Dirty History

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

The United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. That’s fitting, given how reliant the entire world is on keeping our soil in place, as well as keeping it healthy. But this isn’t exactly new information: years ago I happened upon a 1953 pamphlet called Conquest of the Land Through… Read more »

Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

The Will Steger Foundation is excited to launch Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions, a two-year project funded through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Climate Minnesota responds to the urgent need for increased climate literacy and sustainable behavior change among Minnesotans by sharing the knowledge of local experts and the stories of… Read more »

Forever Green: Alternative, off-season crops could benefit economy as well as ecology

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

By Julie Lund of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences (CFANS). Posted on CFANS website: http://www.cfans.umn.edu/about/solutions/forever-green   Minnesota has 27 million acres of farmland dominated by corn and soybeans. Over the years, as high-yield varieties were introduced, these food and feed crops edged out prairie and pastures, and the state’s… Read more »

MEP sign-on letter: Governor urge support for Clean Water Council recommendations

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

This is a sign-on letter sent from the MEP member groups to Governor Mark Dayton.   December 23, 2014Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor116 Veterans Service Building20 West 12th StreetSt. Paul, MN 55155 Dear Governor Dayton, We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to urge your support for the Clean Water Council’s FY16-17 Clean Water… Read more »

Legacy Funds lead to tangible results on the North Shore’s Knife River

Posted by & filed under Funding for the Environment, Great Lakes, Loon Commons blog, Water.

What would happen if we had all the money we needed for clean lakes, clean rivers, and vital habitat? In Minnesota, that’s not just wishful thinking, it’s a real strategic goal. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment just finished its fifth year of funding conservation work across the state, and the results are tangible…including… Read more »

MEP sign-on letter: Public comment process and timing for next phases of the PolyMet NorthMet Environmental Impact Statement

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

This is a sign-on letter sent from the MEP Mining Cluster to representatives of responsible government agencies regarding the the PolyMet FEIS. PolyMet FEIS meeting request December 22, 2014Mr. Thomas Hingsberger (thomas.j.hingsberger@usace.army.mil)US Army Corps of EngineersSibley Square at Mears Park190 5th Street East, Suite 401St. Paul, MN 55101 Commissioner Thomas Landwehr (commissioner.dnr@state.mn.us)Minnesota Department of Natural… Read more »

Crop Insurance: Good Enough for Monsanto-Good Enough for Sustainable Ag

Posted by & filed under agriculture, federal policy, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

From the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction department: In 2007, Monsanto talked the USDA’s Risk Management Agency into giving farmers a discount on crop insurance premiums if they planted the company’s triple-stacked GMO corn. Reportedly, some reviewers of the proposal raised concerns that the premium subsidy would unfairly benefit a single private company. But in the end, the USDA… Read more »

WSF Joins Invitation Only White-House Kick-off on Climate Education and Literacy

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

Will Steger Foundation Executive Director Nicole Rom joined The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for a Climate Education and Literacy Roundtable on December 3rd, 2014, as part of the launch of a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about… Read more »

We Need Stronger Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws – Not Weaker Ones!

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

There has been much heated discussion of street design and laws related to pedestrians and non-motorized traffic in the wake of a recent vehicle-pedestrian crash in Saint Paul that severely injured 11-year-old Bikram Phuyel. Much of this dialogue has been based on misunderstanding or faulty assumptions and has led to unnecessary vitriol and finger pointing…. Read more »