SFA Connect – Issue 6

SFA Connect

March 21, 2011 : Issue 6

SFA News

Membership in SFA involves an annual membership fee of $30.  You can join today through our membership form on our website.  This is different than making a donation or signing up for our newsletter.  SFA memberships now run from April 1st of one year to April 1st of the next.

We’d like to be able to count you as an official member of SFA.

SFA continues to be a leader in advancing sustainable agriculture in Minnesota.  If you join today, here are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy:

  • A subscription to our annual CornerPost newsletter.
  • Subscription to SFA Connect our Bi-Weekly events and update e-newsletter.
  • Discounted admission to our annual conference and SFA-Sponsored events. (This alone covers the cost of membership!)
  • Invitations to other special events, such as the Minnesota Garlic Festival.
  • Discounted display advertising in CornerPost.
  • Voting privileges through your local chapter, for board of director elections.
  • Membership networking opportunities regionally & via SFA discussion groups.
  • Event promotion options via our website & newsletter.
  • The satisfaction of knowing you are helping to sustain agriculture in your region.
  • You’ll be counted as an SFA member until 4/1/2012

As a member of SFA, you will be taking a stand for the long-term health of Minnesota’s environment, farmland, farmers and local food.  Your membership really matters.

Now, we’ve made it easier than ever to join SFA. Our new website has a simple membership form that you can fill out and pay by credit card.  Individual memberships are just $30, and if you are a farmer, and have more than one household actively working on your farm, you may want to register the whole farm for just $40, that way all the family members listed will be members of SFA.


Graziers! Would you like to have your grassfed product featured in a chef demo in front of hundreds of local food enthusiasts?

SFA is teaming up with Mill City Farmers Market once again for GrazeFest in Minneapolis, Saturday, June 4, 2011. We buy the product used in the demo, reimburse your mileage – and you can promote like crazy. Email Jerry Ford or call him at 320-543-3394.

SFA Website + Surveys

As part of SFA’s Design Identity revamp we’ve rolled out a new website!  Visit www.sfa-mn.org to see how this new design is easier to navigate and puts SFA events front and center.

We hope you find it more useful and informative.  There are a couple of surveys out there that I’d love to have you take a moment to fill out.  One is an SFA “user” survey.  Here you can tell us what you think about SFA, how you like to interact with us, and SFA’s role in sustainable ag.

The other survey is the New Crops Assessment Survey.  Lots of folks stopped by our booth at the annual conference to fill this out.  Its one way SFA is working to expand the market for our members who are interested in meeting local food demand.  Check it out!


John’s Note

All SFA memberships now run from April 1 through April 1.  That means for most of you it’s time to renew!  If your time is up, I’ll be sending you an email this week.  Thanks for your membership, it’s what makes SFA strong. For more on the benefits of SFA Membership, check out The 920 Blog.


Other News

Farmer Sought

Duluth Community Farm (DCF) seeks self-motivated/directed person(s) with some food production experience to manage the vegetable market farm the first season (2011) on DCF lands, corner of Riley and Jean Duluth Roads north of Duluth.  Duties include:  start seeds, develop a business plan, keep farm records, control weeds, build the soil, erect fencing – high tunnels – sheds, planting, irrigation, harvest, marketing, & coordinating with other DCF users and DCF steering committee representatives.

Successful candidate must be able to perform strenuous labor in all weather for long hours as necessary.  Ability to engage with public and volunteers essential.  Farmer will be a contractor paid via a percentage of their sales.  Farm operating, supplies and equipment costs will be covered by DCF.

DCF will provide marketing, labor, and mentoring assistance.  Hours and days of duty will be as needed.  Farm must be kept in a neat, workman-like manner.  Tractor & implement operation experience a plus.  First year will entail much weed control, soil building, and set up of infrastructure and systems.  Planned crop for first year is mid to late season vegetables.   Planned marketing strategy this year includes farmers markets and institutional sales.

The Duluth Community Farm is a community based and sustainably developed social enterprise devoted to production, demonstration, and education around food, farming and gardening.  The mission of the DCF includes incubating beginning and early-career farmers for defined use of DCF lands.  DCF may also host plots by enterprise farmers and organizational farmer-gardeners.  Job description available here.  To apply send a resume & references to (preferred) or Kelly Smith, 165 Korby Road, Esko, MN 55733 by March 21, 2011.  FFI call Kelly, evenings, at 218-879-3829 or by email.

Position Announcement – Program Director, Health & Nutrition

U of M Extension Center for Family Development

This Program Director position will provide oversight for Health & Nutrition (H&N) programmatic efforts associated with the Minnesota Food and Nutrition Network (MFNN) and the special H&N education programs and initiatives related to Farm to School, Cooking Matters, Chronic Disease Self Management education, Falls Prevention, and School Nutrition Personnel Training. (For more information on MFN click here.)

H&N Program Leader – Provides key programmatic leadership, particularly for SNAP-Ed and EFNEP, and supervision of H&N Extension Educators.This H&N Program Director position will report to the Associate Dean for Family Development.

Review of applications will begin March 28. For a complete announcement and to apply, please visit

Full-Time Urban Farmer opening‏

Shelter Corp, a real estate management company, is hiring a full-time urban farmer. See the job description below to learn more about this amazing opportunity! Shelter’s Urban Farmer will be responsible for the planning, maintenance and harvesting of three urban farm sites in St. Paul and Richfield, including a rooftop garden and two apartment complexes. The Urban Farmer will also engage residents of the complexes in learning about and caring for the gardens as well as consuming the produce grown.

To Apply — Send a cover letter and resume to Krista Leraas by March 30, 2011. Please have three references available upon request.

Mill City Farmers Market Job Openings

Market Day Staff: Info Booth

8-12 hours/week, seasonal: May-October

Market Day staff work Saturdays from 6am to approximately 3pm with occasional weekday hours.

Please email a cover letter and resume by March 31.

Market Day Staff: Kitchen

8-12 hours/week, seasonal: May-October

Market Day staff work Saturdays from 6am to approximately 3pm with occasional weekday hours.

Please email a cover letter and resume by March 31.

For more information click here.

Calling farmers to sell at small open-air markets in the City of Minneapolis!

“Mini Farmers Markets” offer opportunities for you to sell your produce.  These markets are located throughout the City of Minneapolis in high traffic areas and are managed by host organizations like churches and community centers.  Each market has five or fewer vendors and no rental fees.  Market hours will vary by location.

  • Vendors can sell only the product you grow
  • Must commit to selling at least once each week, July thru September
  • In particular, we are seeking vendors who are FMNP certified (or are willing to attend free certification training in April)

Please call 612-870-3454 or email and provide your name, address, phone, email, and which days you are available to sell.  You will be contacted by a market manager in the coming months.

Farming Forward

Farming Forward is a positive and inspiring look at sustainable farming in Minnesota. Directed by Martin Lang and Ethan Marxhausen in collaboration with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, this new documentary paints an intimate portrait of the state’s burgeoning diversity of small family farms, from the rural to the urban, from multi-generational farms to new immigrant operations, from organic to local (or both!) and every point in between. Meet the people, young and old, from interns to elders, who grow your food and are passionate about reestablishing the links between people, the land and their food. Order your copy here.


Out & About

03/22 PRI’s Urban Farming Series – Session 5 – St. Paul, MN

More information here.

03/22 Bench Grafting: Make your own tiny tree for spring planting – Duluth, MN

03/23 Fruit Tree Scion Exchange – Duluth, MN

03/24 Dr. Don Huber Speaking on Glyphosphate – Creighton, NE

More information here

03/24 Cover Crop and Forage Day – Glencoe, MN

03/24 This Perennial Land – Open House and Book Signing – Madelia, MN

03/24 2011 MFMA Spring Conference & Annual Meeting – Waite Park, MN

More information here.

03/24 Garden Fertility: How to Grow Good Soil – Burnsville, MN

03/25 9th Annual Farmers Take The Stage – Duluth, MN

More information here.

03/26 Small Farm U – University of Minnesota, St. Paul

More information here.

03/26 PRI Cold Climate Presents: Urban Soils Course – Minneapolis, MN

More information here.

03/28 2011 Third Crop Producer Meetings – Practices for Reducing Nutrient Loss

03/29 GAP Workshop – MFVGA – St. Cloud, MN

03/29 PRI Cold Climate Presents: Seed Starting Practicum

More information here.

03/31 Seasonal Eating Calendar: How to Plan Your Life Around Seasonal Local Foods

03/31-04/01 Swine Artificial Insemination Workshop – U of M SROC – Lamberton, MN

More information here.

04/02 Spring Sheep Workshop from Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association

More information here

04/02 PRI Cold Climate Presents: Water Management Course

More information here.

04/02 Paul Otten: Organic Berry Growing

More information here.

04/02 Grazing Cover Crops Field Day

04/02-04/03 Green Living Health Expo – Garden Goddess Greenhouse Manual Re-Launch – Fargo, ND

More information here.

04/05 Protecting Board Members & Learning the Nitty Gritty of Statewide Insurance Programs

More information here.

04/07 SWROC Season Extension Day – Lamberton, MN

More information here.

04/08-04/15 Permaculture Design Certification: Recognizing Beauty, Community and the Inner Landscape <04/09Dan Halsey: Mandala Garden Design and Planning

More information here.

04/10 Field Grafting in the Orchard: Adding a “new” variety to your established tree – Duluth, MN

04/10 Social Justice Documentary and Discussion Series – Food, Inc. – Willmar, MN