June E-Newsletter


June 2018

Profiles | Events | Partners | Resources | Reading | Trivia

The heat of summer has settled upon us. Some plants are thriving, some are bolting in distress, and you can say the same about some of the neighbors! One thing ties all of our communities together - rural, urban, and suburban - and that's how we use our natural resources, including agricultural land and the policies that affect it. It's been a roller coaster of a farm bill year already, but there are definitely highlights of hope. Check out NSAC's latest post on how the just-passed Senate's version of the Farm Bill aligns with many of the priorities of family farmers and sustainable agriculture.

Let's step boldly — baseball caps, rhubarb-strawberry bars, and all — and work together to build bridges, connect rural and urban areas, and foster new approaches to building healthy, vibrant communities! Read below for more about how we're doing just that. You are always welcome to get in touch with us and support our work at any time. We couldn't do it without you!

Jan Joannides, Executive Director

look who's renewing the countryside: Anthony Bourdain

Julie-Barton_Headshot_small.jpgAt Renewing the Countryside, our work revolves around developing innovative solutions with and listening closely to rural community members, farmers, food makers, activists, and entrepreneurs. The world recently lost a man that championed these interconnections: Anthony Bourdain. 

As Andrea Chang and Stephen Battaglio recently wrote in the LA Times: "The outspoken chef, author and television host brought to the table a relatability and innate curiosity about the world, a quality he called “my only virtue.” His legions of fans benefited — through his writing and his many television and online shows, Bourdain transcended mere food celebrity to become an adept storyteller who weaved together tales on cuisine, culture and the connections between them."

We, too, continue to use story to weave together the connections between farming, food, art, and culture and hope you'll continue to join us with curiosity and a ready appetite. 

places to go / things to do: Women Caring for the Land sessions


Are you a woman, or do you know a woman, who has invested in or inherited land who would like to be up-to-date on best practices for caring for your land and protecting your investment? Then we have some exciting upcoming events for you in partnership with WFAN!

Learn about new and upgraded conservation practices that not only improve and sustain the soil and other natural resources, but that positively impact your bottom line! Learn about working with renters or management companies, and how to incorporate conservation into your lease agreements. Meet women professionals from agricultural and conservation agencies who will share information and resources—and answer your questions. 

Visit https://www.renewingthecountryside.org/women_in_ag to learn more and register.

partner spotlight: Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN)

Minnesota Farmers Market Association

The Women Food and Agriculture Network engages women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power, and we are lucky to call them a partner in our work.

Women make up more than half the US population, and own an increasing number of farms. Surveys show that women own or co-own nearly half the farmland in the Midwest. But we are under-represented on the boards of policy-making bodies, and often encounter communications barriers when accessing information from agencies and institutions.

We have worked with WFAN in a number of ways, from coordinating their Minnesota Women Caring for the Land sessions (both in previous years and this summer - see above) and presenting at their annual conference on topics that affect women farmers. 


resource picks of the month: FEAST Applications NOW OPEN



Foodmakers who use local ingredients wanted!

To be an exhibitor at the 2018 FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is a unique opportunity to meet with buyers, network with peers and get your product into the hands of the general public. The event will begin on Friday, November 30th, with an industry-only tradeshow. The public FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace will be held the following day, Saturday, December 1st.


Help us spread the word to foodmakers you know. And make sure to mark you calendar to attend later this year as a member of the public!


what we're listening to: MOSES' In Her Boots Podcast on Cover Crops


Longtime friend of RTC Lisa Kivirist interviews one of our fantastic regional coordinators in the latest MOSES In Her Boots Podcast! 
Lisa is joined in conversation by Kirsten Jurcek of Bratsett Family Farm and this episode is all about cover crops. Hear her advice and tips on the importance of cover crops and how, particularly for women farmers, the philosophy of cover crops and caring for our land naturally fits with our nurturing strengths. Kirsten Jurcek runs Bratsett Family Farm with her family in Jefferson, Wisconsin, an intensive rotational grazing operation and home to a grass-fed beef herd. After a career as a hydrogeologist, Kirsten returned to her family farm to combine her passion for the environment, healthy food and integrating her children and family into the business. This has been made possible, in part, thanks to the National Wildlife Federation.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and check out the main podcast page on MOSES' website. 

trivia of the month

LisaQ: What am I? I grow long, green, and serpentine when picked just when about to bloom. Enjoy my crunch and taste my bite, before I disappear in late June!

A: E-mail your answer to [email protected] for a chance to win a local foods T-shirt!


Want to learn more about the great community that makes up Renewing the Countryside? Meet last month's trivia winner: Connie Schad of southeast MN! She has this to say about why she supports RTC:

"I think one of your more important issues in your mission is to IMPROVE RURAL AMERICA. Just reminding people where our food comes from and supporting those who care about our health through a better environment is so important. Renewing the Countryside makes such a positive impact and gives us hope!! Thank you for all your efforts!"


Renewing the Countryside is a non-profit organization that strengthens rural areas and small towns by championing and supporting farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists, and others who are revitalizing the countryside through innovative endeavors.
We build awareness and support for these initiatives by collecting and sharing stories of rural renewal, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural people.

Have you heard about AmazonSmile? 
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com.
The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.
The link below will allow you to contribute to our work when you shop Amazon. Thanks for checking it out!

AmazonSmile logo


Renewing the Countryside


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