August E-Newsletter


August 2019

Profiles | Events | Partners | Resources | Reading | Trivia


Now in the depths of summer, we're excited to spend this high point of our region's growing season with you. Swing by the Minnesota State Fair EcoExperience building again this year to visit our Healthy Local Food Exhibit running August 22 - September 2, 2019. We have so many great tastes, demos, and details to share with you! Learn more below.
join us: visit the healthy, local food exhibit at the State Fair

State Fair

There's just a few days left to join us at the Healthy, Local Food Exhibit in the EcoExperience Building at the Minnesota State Fair, now through Monday, September 2nd!

Learn more about our amazing chef demos, food samples, and interactive exhibit:

partner spotlight: Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program

Farm & Forest

This fall, we're exited to help bring the National Farm Viability Conference to the Midwest for the first time, October 22-24. This conference is geared towards agricultural professionals and is focused on strengthening farm viability, building stronger and more resilient local food systems and supporting the long term profitability of farming and agri-entrepreneurs from start-ups to generational businesses.

We're excited to be working with partners from across the nation on this, and especially past hosts like the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program. The staff at Vermont’s Viability Program, led by Ela Chapin, aim to enhance the economic and overall viability of Vermont farm and forestry enterprises. This is accomplished by offering business and succession planning to eligible farmers, agriculturally-related businesses, forest products enterprises, and forest landowners. These services are carried out by a robust network of organizations and advisers, including University of VT Extension, nonprofits and private consultants. The photo to the left shows Full Belly Farm, recipients of VLT's businnes planning services

Organizations like ours can gain much knowledge and efficiency by working together and learning from each other. If you're an agricultural professional, please join us in October at the National Farm Viability Conference to learn more. 

where we're going: National Farm Viability Conference, Oct. 22-24


Renewing the Countryside is proud to serve as the regional host for the fourth National Farm Viability Conference happening October 22-24 in Red Wing, Minnesota!

The Conference features three days of workshops, discussion and tours focused on strengthening farm sustainability, building more resilient local food systems and supporting the long term profitability of farming and agri-entrepreneurs from start-ups to generational businesses. This year, the Conference is coming to the Midwest for the first time!

The Conference is geared towards professionals in the fields of farm and food business planning, financial planning, agricultural financing, crisis management, farmland conservation, agricultural market development, and food hub management. It offers attendees the opportunity to network and learn from industry leaders and other professionals in their fields, develop new knowledge and skills, and tour nearby farms and value-added processing facilities. 

Visit for more information.

look who's renewing the countryside: Valentine Cadieux
Valentine Cadieux is co-chair of TCALT -- the Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust, a CLT working in the Metro Twin Cities to secure long-term access to land to grow food ( She also directs the programs in Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Hamline University, and is a longtime partner of Renewing the Countryside in their work on public education and organizing around food systems and farmland access.

Our work at Renewing the Countryside focuses on innovative solutions, creative communication, and cross sector collaborations, and that suits Dr. Cadieux's interdisciplinary approach to her work, which combines scholarship with public collaboration to address social and environmental challenges. 

Currently, she is an active member of our Farmland Access Hub, which works with partners across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to help beginning farmers navigate access to secure and affordable land. We'll be convening partners and digging into solutions on October 21st at the Farmland Access Summit. 

resource pick of the month: Minnesota Farm to School & Early Care Grants


The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now taking applications for the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Farm to School and Farm to Early Care and Education Grants. 

Are you a teacher, parent, school administrator, or community member who thinks a school or early care site in your community could benefit from a planning or equipment grant to increase the use of local food in their meals and snacks? If so, please let schools and early care sites in your community know about this opportunity!

Farm to School and Farm to Early Care and Education Grants benefit farmers by empowering schools to use locally grown and raised foods, and the stronger local social and economic fabric built by farm to school initiatives strengthens our communities and food systems. Applications are open now through November 7th.

Learn more here, help us spread the word, and apply soon!

what we're reading: Dan Barber's The Third Plate


Award-winning chef and best-selling writer Dan Barber loves food just as much as you and I, which is why he's taking a long-term view of the food and farming system.

He has some suggestions for the farm-to-table movement, which he has been a key player in, and that includes realizing that the stars of our American meals, like luscious tomatoes and steaks, are resource intensive, and that we need to consider soil health in what we put on our plates. This includes using cover crops to put nutrients back into the soil that produce like tomatoes and corn pull out, and to make sure those crops, like beans, artisan grains and lentils, are getting more attention - and space - on our plates.

Make sure you visit our State Fair exhibit and keep in touch with us on social media to learn more about what we're doing with partners to encourage the growth of farming and food business around artisan grains in the Upper Midwest. 

trivia of the month


Q: How many wheat berries are in the jar?

Join our community of State Fair exhibit visitors to guess the number of wheat berries Chef Christopher Sarles has in this jar. Wheat berries are one of the artisan grains we're highlighting at this year's educational event.

This will make 1 artisan boule of sourdough bread according to Christopher Sarles of Lowertown Bakehouse. The winner will receive a free boule to be picked up at his booth at the Mill City Farmers Market Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. Christopher bakes all of his bread with freshly milled grain from Sunrise Flour Mill.

And don't forget to learn more about our last few days of State Fair chef demos here 

E-mail your response to [email protected] for a chance to win this special prize.