Along with Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, Congressman Walz pushed for beginning farmer and rancher programs in the latest Farm Bill. A wide-range of farm organizations--from the Land Stewardship Project to the Farm Bureau--supported the legislation.
The Owatonna People's Press reports about one operation working with the Land Stewardship's Farm Beginnings program in Local organic farms partner to offer eggs:
But then she got to know John Ostgarden and Lowell Gordon, owners of Clinton Falls Farm, a certified organic farm located in Clinton Falls.
As a Community Supported Agriculture farm, Clinton Falls Farm sells crop shares to clients who share in the risks and benefits of farming in exchange for a locally-grown variety of fresh produce and flowers.
“People are really receptive to local sustainable farming,” Ostgarden said, “and I believe mentoring a beginning farmer is really important for our community. I think there’s a real growing interest for beginning farmers in organic.”
Felland bought into the shares and volunteered on the farm to learn more. She also enrolled in the Farm Beginnings Class, sponsored through the Land Stewardship Project which is led by farmers for those who are starting their own farm for the first time or returning to farming after leaving the business.
This year, her farm, “O-Wata-Farm!, will share its organic fresh eggs with shareholders of Clinton Falls Farm. She will also grow fresh sweet corn, strawberries and raspberries on her 10-acre farm north of Owatonna.
The paper also revisits the Clinton Falls CSA farm in Community supported farm gains in popularity:
Executive chef Jason Hudock changes the center’s menus and entrees daily. When he heard he could get fresh produce locally from Clinton Falls Farm, a certified organic Community Supported Agriculture farm, he thought it was the perfect chance to bring organic foods to the center.
“The opportunity to use local, organically grown produce is a fantastic opportunity for us, and our chef has been wanting to build that level of partnership for many, many years,” said Marlene Levine, director of the Gainey Conference Center. “It’s certainly a treat for our guests who more and more appreciate the health benefits of organically grown foods.”
Last week, the Washington Post profiled Iowan Dave Murphy [who] Is Challenging the Corporate Farming Of America. One paragraph stuck up for us:
Indeed. Even Collin Peterson, thought by many foodies to be a foe of locally-grown food, has hosted conferences in his district since 2007, touting the economic sense of local food systems. His third annual meeting will be held in four different locations across the sprawling Seventh on April 17; video conferencing will tie together those gathered in Bemidji, Crookston, Marshall and Morris.
Farmers were part of the old progressive coalition in a 1930s Minnesota; another piece was labor. The president of the Mankato Area Labor Assembly writes in :
. . .Workers should be able to band together with their co-workers to fight for a livable wage, a respectful work environment, and health care benefits and a pension plan they can count on in the future. We need a process that allows workers to have a say in their workplace rather than the employer controlling the whole process.
That’s why the Employee Free Choice Act earned solid congressional support with 40 senators and 223 representatives co-sponsoring the bill.
I want to thank Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tim Walz for being champions on working families issues by being a part of that coalition.
Snow is predicted for today, as good a day for finishing up our own garden plan as any. Photo: A First District rooster. Photo by Rachael Spiegel.
Snow is predicted for today, as good a day for finishing up our own garden plan as any.
Photo: A First District rooster. Photo by Rachael Spiegel.