SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter Now Official

SFA is excited to announce the formation of a brand-new chapter centered around the Aitkin area – the Greater Mille Lacs chapter.

Erik Heimark, SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter President.

Erik Heimark, SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter President.

According to Erik Heimark, chapter president, Greater Mille Lacs arose because of the large number of sustainably minded farmers around the Aitkin area.

“The idea to form a SFA chapter came about at a meeting last January where local farmers got together to discuss ways to support each other in the coming season,” he said. “The main goals of the Greater Mille Lacs Chapter are to help farmers market and process their products, provide support to their operations, and to educate themselves and their neighbors about the best practices in sustainable agriculture.”

SFA Network Coordinator Jerry Ford shepherded the new chapter through the formation process, and reminds SFA members that anyone interested in chapter-related issues should visit our Chapter Resource Portal.

Anyone interested in learning more about the new Greater Mille Lacs Chapter can contact Erik at ude.n1430136126mu@2214301361260amie1430136126h1430136126 or membership coordinator Jodi Olson at moc.l1430136126iamg@143013612613ett1430136126eduaj1430136126 or 218.927.1435.

SFA Nears Completion in Meeting High-level Nonprofit Standards

SFA Network Coordinator Jerry Ford has been working with the Charities Review Council in a program that certifies nonprofit organizations that meet a high set of standards. Jerry is shown here with Kris Kewitsch, Executive Director, Charities Review Council.

SFA Network Coordinator Jerry Ford has been working with the Charities Review Council in a program that certifies nonprofit organizations that meet a high set of standards. Jerry is shown here with Kris Kewitsch, Executive Director, Charities Review Council.

The Charities Review Council oversees a program to certify nonprofit organizations that meet a high set of standards. The process for attaining the certification is rigorous and demanding, but SFA is nearing the finish line. Organizations that achieve these standards are listed on the website, smartgivers.org, a resource for donors, foundations and philanthropists who seek assurance that a particular charity is structurally sound and effectively pursuing its stated mission.

SFA’s Network Coordinator, Jerry Ford, and Executive Director, John Mesko, have completed a series of required Nonprofit Strengthening Workshops over the past several months as part of this program. Using what they have learned, they have been fine-tuning various area of SFA’s organizational documentation and structure to bring us into greater alignment with legal requirements and accepted best practices.

The final step is a thorough analysis of our procedures, policies and mission, and we are well into that process. Our intention is to be certified by the Charities Review Council before the fall fundraising season, which will open up even greater sources of donation revenue for SFA.

Lake Agassiz Seed Swap April 26 in Bagley

SFA_LakeAgassiz_RGBSFA Lake Agassiz Chapter is hosting a Seed Swap and potluck from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at the American Legion, 112 Main Ave N, Bagley. This event is free and no registration is required.

Attendees can bring extra seeds saved from crops or leftover purchased seeds, all in containers that are not spill-prone and clearly labeled, along with small envelopes to carry home your exchanges. Do not bring treated or GMO seeds. Cuttings, scion wood, etc. are welcome.

No seeds? No sweat! Come anyway and pick up some things that interest you. Discussion welcome on the history of heirloom seeds and ancient grains.

For more information, contact Jim Ingvaldson at 218-694-3071.

Young Farmers Receive Crow River SFA Scholarships

SFA’s Crow River Chapter recently recognized two area youth as recipients of the Outstanding Youth in Sustainable Agriculture award.

Two aspiring farmers received $100 awards at the Crow River SFA annual meeting Jan. 31. Pictured (from left) are scholarship winners Emily Hackbarth and Charlie Otto with Crow River Chapter President Nick Neaton.

Two aspiring farmers received $100 awards at the Crow River SFA annual meeting Jan. 31. Pictured (from left) are scholarship winners Emily Hackbarth and Charlie Otto with Crow River Chapter President Nick Neaton.

These hard-working young people each received a $100 cash award towards their farming projects. It is the CRSFA’s hope that this financial assistance will inspire new generations to start farming!

Emily Hackbarth raises goats, llamas, and gardens at her family’s farm near Silver Lake. Emily is especially interested in pasture management and holistic health for her herd of dairy goats. She is active in 4-H, which has helped cultivate her lifelong passion for agriculture.

Charlie Otto of Delano is also a longtime 4-H member. Charlie raises sheep, cattle, and chickens on his family’s farm, as well as helping with the vegetable gardens. Charlie hopes to use the $100 award to create a better fencing system for his pastured chickens.

For more information, visit the SFA Crow River Chapter homepage.

Lake Agassiz Seed Swap April 26 in Bagley

SFA_LakeAgassiz_RGBSFA Lake Agassiz Chapter is hosting a Seed Swap and potluck from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at the American Legion, 112 Main Ave N, Bagley. This event is free and no registration is required.

Attendees can bring extra seeds saved from crops or leftover purchased seeds, all in containers that are not spill-prone and clearly labeled, along with small envelopes to carry home your exchanges. Do not bring treated or GMO seeds. Cuttings, scion wood, etc. are welcome.

No seeds? No sweat! Come anyway and pick up some things that interest you. Discussion welcome on the history of heirloom seeds and ancient grains.

For more information, contact Jim Ingvaldson at 218-694-3071.