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Where does the farm bill money go?

The massive package of legislation about food and farming commonly known as the farm bill (this year it’s officially called the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012) is being debated in the U.S. Congress this summer; it may in fact have already made it to the Senate floor by the time you are reading this, although passage of ... Read More »

Corn Belt stretches to include Dakotafire counties

Two decades ago, a summer drive along Dakota roads could take you by fields of color: the light green of wheat or oats, the purple of blooming flax, or the bright yellow of sunflower fields. Today, eastern Dakota fields are almost always two shades of green, the same colors that have been the palette of Iowa and Illinois for decades: ... Read More »

Planting prairie for profit: EcoSun Prairie Farms aims to show that they can balance environmental and economic needs by farming grass

On a sizeable piece of productive Midwestern farmland between Sioux Falls and Brookings, S.D., a small group of agricultural pioneers are growing diverse mixtures of indigenous, perennial grasses. They have two motivations: create and manage a farm that balances economic returns with meaningful environmental protections, and demonstrate that a farmer can make a living marketing products emanating from native grasses grown on premium land previously devoted to churning out industrial grains. Read More »

POSTCARD: A new foundation

Life was a mix of new and old for Kristin Bennett in 2007: Old home state for her, new hometown for the kids; new home in an old house on a new spot; new foundations for both the house and the family in a place where they have roots. Read More »

Johnson family brings in the next generation to their organic farm

Adapted, with permission, from information published on the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education website ( Additional reporting by Becky Froehlich   Brothers Charlie and Allen Johnson inherited a legacy of organic farming: Their father had jumped into organic agriculture with both feet in 1976, long before any sort of organic industry existed. “My dad was always of the ... Read More »

Garden is the heart of the farm for Podolls

‘Gardening has taught me how to farm’ Excerpted from the book Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness by Lisa M. Hamilton, Counterpoint Press, 2009 Editor’s Note: Over the course of two years, author Lisa M. Hamilton spent many days with the Podolls, learning about their farming philosophy. Family members still living on the farm are David and ... Read More »

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