agriculture

Food for thought, pennies for farmers

For decades, my dad complained that people didn’t understand how little of the food dollar goes to the farmers who grow the food. Every time the farmer’s price went up — for milk or corn or pigs — the grocery store price went up by even more. When the farmer’s price went down, the grocery store price usually didn’t follow in that direction.

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Finding new keys to land ownership, careers in farming

At a creative farm south of St. Paul near the town of Coates, two things about fruit, vegetable and horticultural growing are immediately clear. You cannot plant and raise perennial crops when renting land on a year-to-year lease. You cannot even think about having an orchard unless you own the land.

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Video: Exploring a Hmong land cooperative

Minnesota is home to a large Hmong community of which many farm. One complication is that many do not have access to land that is affordable and near their homes. One group has committed to making a difference. The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) was awarded a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant which will allow the nonprofit organization to explore organizing a land cooperative.

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Cedar Summit Farm owners win case, coalition of utilities building CapX2020 must "Buy The Farm"

Cedar Summit Farm is one of the success stories of Minnesota's buy-local dairies, but as City Pages reported in 2013's Cedar Summit Farms could be forced to relocate due to power line expansion, Florence and Dave Minar's organic and grass-fed operation wasn't compatible with the 345,000-volt line.

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Saving Minnesota's grasslands: Conservation, cattle and community

It’s that age-old struggle: accepting a little short-term disturbance in the name of long-term stability. Dave Trauba regularly faces the challenge of explaining that tradeoff to hunters who visit the Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Refuge in western Minnesota only to find their favorite spot for shooting pheasants has recently been grazed by cattle from a neighboring farm. Why, they ask sometimes with more than a little anger and frustration, are domestic livestock being allowed to wander around in a place supposedly reserved for wild animals?

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Sympathy for the Devil?

It may seem strange to work up much sympathy for a booming industry that killed 47 people while virtually leveling their Quebec town last year and later touched off a giant fireball over Casselton, N.D., on the Minnesota border, but that's what I'm feeling these days for the railroads.

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A day at Farmfest: No tech talk with Gubernatorial Debate, yes drones for farming!

Today I spent the day at Farmfest. Originally I had planned to attend the Broadband Task Force meeting at Farm Fest but the meeting was cancelled; I figured this was a good opportunity to learn more about broadband and agriculture business as well as get a broad take on the priority folks in agriculture place on broadband.

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University of Minnesota combats food supply issues with MnDRIVE

(Photo by Holly Peterson) College of Veterinary Medicine assistant professor Nicholas Phelps explains aquaponic farming in a greenhouse in St. Paul on July 25, 2014. Phelps’ project is one of 17 receiving funding from MnDRIVE.

With government dollars and partnerships with industry in tow, the University of Minnesota’s research powerhouse is turning its gaze to addressing global food security, safety and sustainability.

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Grazing as a public good in Western Minnesota

As a Nature Conservancy scientist based in a Midwestern state, Steve Chaplin thinks a lot about the impact agriculture has on ecological treasures such as native tallgrass prairie.

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Research funding boost to help new University Bee Lab facility in battle against waning honeybee population

Bee Squad team member Chris Kulhanek carries a frame from a hive at the rooftop apiary at Urban Ventures in south Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. Recent state allocations will partially fund the construction of a new University Bee Lab on the St. Paul campus. (Photo by Chelsea Gortmaker)

Midsummer sunrays beamed on Monday as University of Minnesota researchers let a swarm of buzzing honeybees loose, allowing them to forage nearby fields before returning to the experiment’s site on the St. Paul campus.

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