SFA Connect – Issue 7

SFA Connect

April 4, 2011 : Issue 7

SFA News

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.

Festival of Farms™ Logo Design Contest!

The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) is sponsoring a design contest to create an official logo for the annual Festival of Farms™ event. Anyone and everyone is welcome to enter! The winning designer will receive a complimentary one-year membership with SFA and a newly designed SFA T-shirt.

All entries must be received by noon on Monday, April 11, and the winning logo will be featured on this year’s Festival of Farms™ promotional materials.

Designs will be judged on three criteria:

  • How well the design incorporates or builds on the new SFA logo;
  • How well the design reflects the spirit and goals of the Festival of Farms™;
  • Overall creativity, and aesthetic value and appeal.

About SFA’s Festival of Farms™:

Each year, participating SFA chapters arrange for member farms to host farm tours on the same day across the state, providing the public with an opportunity to see first-hand the diverse and innovative sustainable farms that make up the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota. Featured
farms raise a variety of products, including pastured meat and dairy, poultry and eggs, vegetables and cut flowers, fruits and berries, nuts and grains, wild rice, and so much more. Each tour provides an up-close and personal experience of the dedication and innovation of local farm families and their unique farming operations. Open to members and non-members alike, all are welcome to join us for a day of fun and adventure, and building connections with local farmers.

See full contest details at festivaloffarms.com.

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!


Chapter Update


by Karola Dalen

Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association is just as busy as ever. The growth and interest in local foods and local farming is moving at a pace difficult to keep up with. Our chapter is busy connecting farmers with consumers, consumers with farmers, and training farmers through Lake Superior Farm Beginnings. On January 21st we held a delightful annual meeting where members got together, networked, and socialized. We enjoyed winter hardy soups made with local food and homemade bread baked by member Dave Hanlon. Instead of workshops we tried a format called “tabling” which is an open educational format of tables hosted by local farmers and food experts. Each table had a topic and attendees were able to mingle and approach different tables and talk with the expert. A few of the many topics included (More…)


John’s Note

Thanks to all who renewed their membership last week.  You are the backbone of SFA, and your membership is critical to our continuing efforts to advance sustainable ag in Minnesota.

In a survey on our website, over 65% of you indicated you would renew if reminded.  This is your reminder!  If you have enjoyed your relationship with SFA or have benefited from our programs, please renew or join today.  It’s not too late to be counted as a member. Join or Renew your Membership – SFA of Minnesota. Thank you!


Other News

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.

Izaak Walton League of America Scholarship

The Minnesota Division of the Izaak Walton League of America will award a scholarship(s) of not more than $1000.00 to assist undergraduate student(s) who are in or entering a major that will lead to a career related to conservation and the protection of our environment (Environmental Education, Environmental Science, Natural Resources, Biology, etc).


  • Limited to Minnesota residents who are US citizens applicant must be at least in his/her second year in undergraduate college at the time of application.
  • Applicant must show a need for financial assistance and list other financial aid that he/she is receiving.
  • Scholarship to be used for tuition, books, and transportation to the school or program

The deadline for applying for the 2011-2012 academic year is May 15, 2011. For more info click here. Please email the Minnesota Division IWLA office if you have any questions.


Out & About

04/04  Farmer Transportation Workshop – Litchfield, MN

04/04  2011 Northern Minnesota Commercial High Tunnel Growers Workshop and Grower Interaction – McIntosh, MN

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

04/09  Dan Halsey: Mandala Garden Design and Planning

More information here.

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

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

04/12  Farmer Transportation Workshop – Morris, MN

04/12  Growing Fruit in the City

04/13  Calf Workshop – U of M SROC – Waseca, MN

More information here.

04/13 13th Annual Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference – Chaska, MN

More information here.

04/18 PRI Cold Climate Presents: Intro to Permaculture I & II – St. Paul, MN

More information here.

04/22 New Food Regionalism Series – Growing Power & Growing Food – Duluth, MN

More information here.

04/25 PRI Cold Climate Presents: Intro to Permaculture I & II – St. Paul, MN

More information here.

04/30  Introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for the organic orchard: Growing pretty apples without chemicals – Duluth, MN

More information here.

04/30  Vineyard tour in Winona County – La Crescent, MN

04/30 – 05/01 Sara Sanders: Introduction to Biointensive Gardening

More information here.