Conservation Connections: New Program Supports Underserved Farmers

With a goal of supporting historically underserved farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, a new project led by Renewing the Countryside and the Sustainable Farming Association builds connections between these farmers and resource support. Conservation Connections: Linking New & Underserved Farmers with Conservation Resources uniquely utilizes a “boots in the field” team of Farmer Connectors to assist these farmers to tap into information and opportunities that support conservation and soil health, to create a more successful farm business. With funding support from NRCS, this project will provide outreach and support to historically underserved farmers including African American, Asian, Latino, Indigenous, veteran and beginning farmers.  Look for a variety of field days, workshops and outreach over the next two years.

Cultivating Connections kicks off in January with online webinars focused on connecting new and beginning farmers to NRCS programs:  A Beginning Farmers Guide to Conservation Support, Funding & Resources.

Two options are available, based on if you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin, with area farmers sharing their NRCS program experience along with next steps to connect with resources in your state:

Minnesota:  Wed. January 13, 2021;  1 pm CST 
Wisconsin:  Thurs. January 14, 2021;  1 pm CST

We are fortunate to have on our SFA team an awesome group of coordinators who are themselves farmers with varying degrees of experience with NRCS programs:

Sarah Lindblom has worked as a soil health educator with SFA before training producers on fruit and vegetable production. She also operates a vegetable CSA of her own called Solar Fresh Produce in Buffalo, MN.

Moses Momanyi grew up on a family farm in Kenya producing and selling produce and livestock at local markets. He arrived in Minnesota in 2004 and is now co-owner of Dawn2Dusk farms, a 20 acre vegetable farm in Cambridge, MN. He also runs Kilimo Minnesota, a nonprofit, farmer incubator training emerging and African Immigrants to farm in Minnesota, and teaches farming classes at Big River Farms, volunteers for local charities, and mentors kids in the Twin Cities on gardening.

John Beaton farms along with his wife, Emily, and together they raise vegetables for a CSA program and operate a greenhouse that they sell starter plants from in the spring. John has a strong commitment to run a successful farm business and he is always excited to provide help and resources for beginning and established farmers in North Eastern Minnesota. He also has experience in both the EQIP and CSP program with NRCS.