May 2024 News



May 2024

Summer is here! 

The singing birds and peeping frogs, the vibrant colors, sweet smelling blossoms, extended hours of sunshine—and the infectious smiles and energy of people who are also feeling the recharge—all have the powerful potential to fill our hearts with joy, hope and inspiration... especially when we take the time to recognize it. 

This reflection comes from my heart and is fitting for the gratitude I'm feeling in being able to introduce this edition of the Rooster. 

The projects below represent so much wisdom, experience, skill, love and hard work of my colleagues as well as the farmers, partners, communities and everyone else we're fortunate to collaborate with. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I do sharing it.

I hope to see you at RTC’s 20th Anniversary celebration fundraiser at Dodge Nature Center on June 27th (more details below)!

—Matt Barthelemy, RTC Project Coordinator


You're Invited!

We're putting the FUN in fundraiser on Thursday, June 27th

Our 2024 FUNdraiser is next month!

Plan to join us Thursday, June 27th, 5:30-8:30pm at the beautiful Dodge Nature Center in West Saint Paul for great food, fun games, engaging conversation, and the chance to change the world on a Thursday night. 

Click the button below to get your tickets today (starting at $25). See you June 27th!

Got questions? Contact Marlene Petersen at [email protected]



Minnesota State Fair

Pictured: Brit Williams of P&TY Granola at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair

Save the date and sign up to volunteer with us at the MN State Fair!

For fifteen years, Renewing the Countryside has curated an interactive, educational food & farming exhibit at the MN State Fair Eco Experience Building. The award-winning sustainability expo draws over 250,000 people during the twelve days of the fair. Our exhibit includes kids activities, three daily cooking demonstrations, and local food sampling, as well as a poster display on our theme of the year!

For more information on our 2024 exhibit visit our website.

Volunteers receive a free admission ticket to the fair on the day of their shift and also receive a free, limited edition, Local Foods T-Shirt! Volunteer shifts are 3 hours long and are available between 9am-7:30pm. 

For questions, contact Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly at [email protected]

Farmland Access

RTC staffer Bonnie Warndahl, our program lead with the Farmland Access Hub, was recently interviewed for the Hobby Farmer Growing Good Podcast

Bonnie said, "I believe deeply in the work I do at Renewing the Countryside. It is—in my opinion—a vitally important job...that essentially nobody is aware of. I am proud to belong to RTC's staff as we celebrate our 20-year anniversary of dedication to supporting farmers and local food systems."

Hear about Bonnie's own farmland access journey, as well as how critical it is to help younger and beginning farmers secure farmland.



Come and Get It!

Check out the 9 Come & Get It! on-farm food events coming soon in Madelia, Little Falls, Aitkin, Clover Valley, Finlayson, Moorhead, Frazee, New London, and Northfield.

Visit our On Farm Food Event website to learn more!

RTC developed the Come & Get It project to train and assist local teams of farmers and food advocates in creating fun, educational, and safe, on-farm events. Each event has been planned by the teams themselves, bringing their own regional flavor, featuring pop-up farmers’ markets, educational kids activities, hands-on cooking demonstrations, music and more! Each event is tailored to increase local consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products by developing or expanding market opportunities while building community around local food. 

For questions, contact Maeve at [email protected]

Wisconsin Women in Conservation

June is CHOCK FULL of WiWiC events! RTC staffer Elena Byrne will be hosting the lunch & learn Summer Camp Webinar on Thursday, June 20 at noon. We'll hear from content expert Lea Vereecke, Organic Agronomist & Regional Manager at Rodale Consulting Services, and we'll hear from farmer and landowner Michelle Cannon of Larryville Gardens. 

Also, check out these in-person events!

Monday, June 10: Field Day at Bula's Pleasant Valley Farm, Baraboo WI

Friday, June 21: Southwest Region Potluck at Keewaydin Farms, Viola, WI

Wednesday, June 26: Field Day at Misty Dawn Farm, Janesville, WI

More about WiWiC events



FEAST! Local Foods

Back by popular demand! 

Save the date for our 11th annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival, the first Saturday in November at Rochester's Mayo Civic Center. 

We just opened Exhibitor Registration, and are looking forward to opening ticket sales on opening day of the Minnesota State Fair!

For questions about FEAST! Local Foods Network programs, contact Elena at 608.712.8340 or [email protected].

Staff Moment

We'll have two new position descriptions on the website soon, for a Communications Manager and a Minnesota Women in Conservation Statewide Coordinator. If you're interested, shoot us an email for more details! 

Read more on our staff page



*Read past issues of the RTC Rooster on our blog*
Thank you for your support of time, energy, funds, and enthusiasm! 

Looking for a way to make a greater impact?

Become a sustaining donorYour generous, on-going support makes all the programs above (and so much more!) possible for thousands in our local food system.



Renewing the Countryside is a non-profit organization that strengthens rural areas and small towns by championing & 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 & sharing stories of rural renewal, providing practical assistance & networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban & rural people.


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