Wrapping up the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition meeting earlier this week, I was amazed by the breadth and depth of knowledge and commitment to sustainable farming and ranching practices and policies represented by this group. Farmers, ranchers and professionals from Maine to Minnesota, California to the Carolinas and all points in between are gathered here in Madison, Wis., at NSAC’s summer meeting. SFA is a member of NSAC, which keeps us appraised of policies and practices affecting sustainable food production, marketing and economic justice. I’d welcome SFA member participation in some of the many effective committees organized on a range of topics.
Monday afternoon, we visited an organic dairy farm family who are members of the Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative, then savored a dinner of garden vegetables and grassfed beef. Tuesday, we discussed sustainable livestock production and met with the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship folks, with whom our own Kent Solberg is a Master Grazier.
Then, Kent, Dr. Allen Williams and astute farmers and ag professionals enjoyed SFA’s “Dirt Rich: Building Soil Health Experts” workshops this week in Faribault and Blue Earth. This top-quality workshop provided a mix of classroom learning and hands-on practice, plus plenty of time to ask questions of other producers.
I urge you to take advantage of the many opportunities this month to learn about what’s happening on the landscape and meet fellow stewards:
- Of course you all have Saturday on your calendars for the Minnesota Garlic Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., McLeod County Fairgrounds, Hutchinson.
- Tues., Aug. 15, is the Organic Dairy Day at U. of M.-Morris.
- Fri., Aug. 25, Central Lakes College is hosting a farm tour and the Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council has a related field day near Staples.
- Sat., Aug. 26, is SFA’s Great Mille Lacs chapter’s Farm2Families event.