Posts Tagged: beginning farmers

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 »

Is That a Trophy Hunter Knockin’ at Your Door?

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

What with farmland changing hands at price levels that would make a Beverly Hills realtor blanch, one could be forgiven for jumping to an obvious conclusion: Farm Country is flush with cash these days. Indeed, based on pure numbers, the statistics are impressive. Midwestern farmland values increased 16 percent in 2012, the third largest gain… Read more »

Interested in farming? Consider Morris Farm Beginnings

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

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 »

Bud Markhart’s Sustainable Legacy

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

The sustainable agriculture community lost a true friend this week when Bud Markhart passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. I had the opportunity to interview Markhart last fall for an LSP podcast. He was a professor of horticultural science at the U of M, and so it’s no surprise that he made his… Read more »

Crop Insurance: A Safety Net Becomes a Threat

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

When it comes to the crop insurance sweepstakes, southwest Minnesota farmer Darwyn Bach is a winner. But he concedes that his good fortune presents a quandary, since the way the program is implemented these days creates significant losers: the soil, beginning farmers and Main Street businesses that suffer when the number of families in a… Read more »

Loving the Land Enough to Let it Go

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

While recording a recent LSP podcast interview with southwest Minnesota farmer Carmen Fernholz, I was reminded of how important it is that farmers identify closely with the land they’re producing a livelihood from. As Fernholz put it: “If you’re a good farmer you can’t help but become attached to the land. And when you become… Read more »

Putting Out the Welcome Mat for New Agrarians

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

There are numerous ways of communicating the value society places on having more family farmers on the land, not fewer. This morning, the USDA announced it was awarding $18 million in grants to groups that are helping beginning farmers nationwide. That sends an important message that the federal government, thanks to initiatives put in the… Read more »