September 2023 News


September 2023

As the season turns, we pause to celebrate 20 years of Renewing the Countryside! Keep reading to learn what's in store on Saturday, October 14 in Red Wing, MN, and some more of what we've got brewing!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

Since 2003, we've been working to help build more just, vibrant and resilient communities. Twenty years later, because of your help, this work has greatly impacted thousands of lives across the Upper Midwest…and beyond. But we still have much to do! 

Please join us for an afternoon of great local food, lively games, and joyful fundraising as we honor RTC's accomplishments. 


Saturday, October 14, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. 


Anderson Center at Tower View 
163 Tower View Dr.
Red Wing, MN 55066

What's in store:

  • Farm-to-table small plates from Judy Krohn, formerly of Harbor View Cafe, and our own Brett Olson, registered foodie
  • Libations, featuring local wine, beer, cider, and cocktails from Tattersall Distilling served by Distillery Manager Bentley Gillman. Side note: did you know Tattersall has the largest solar array of any U.S. distillery?
  • Games! Wine bottle ring toss, corn-on-the-cob darts, and more
  • A silent auction...including the three experiences below: 


1. Beekeeping class with The Bee Shed


Experience the insights and sounds of a colony of bees with The Bee Shed in a 1-hour bee yard experience.

Up to 4 people will get an up-close look at what's going on in the hive, summer 2024.

Protective equipment provided. The Bee Shed is based in Oronoco, MN.




2. Farmstay near Colfax, WI

The Gingko House is a country cottage situated on a stunning 5-acre farmstead in the rolling hills of the Redar Cedar River Valley. The farmstay comes adorned with a queen-sized bed, mini fridge, and kitchenette as well as a small washroom and an outdoor shower—a very cozy space and a uniquely fun experience for the farm/homestead/nature enthusiast. Relax, walk the trails, bring your kayaks (or rent ours), and enjoy the state-park-like views of this beautiful flower farm tucked away on a remote and woodsy bluff.


3. All-you-can-pick Berry Adventure for Six

Enjoy a fruit-filled experience on Sara's farm near Pepin, WI, where you and up to 5 friends can pick and take home the best berries you've ever tasted (and other farm-fresh goodies)! You will find red, yellow and black raspberries. as well as apples to pick and enjoy. Redeem July 5 until October 1, 2024 (berries reset in August, so contact Sara for best dates).





Join us Oct. 14 in Red Wing to see the full array of auction items and opportunities!

Questions? Contact


Lakewinds Round Up!

If you live near the Twin Cities, here's an easy way to support our work. Our great friends and partners at Lakewinds Food Co-op, which has been such a great supporter of local food and farm businesses, has selected Renewing the Countryside’s Farmland Access Program as the beneficiary of their Community Round Up during the month of October

So, just do your regular grocery shopping at one of their three stores: Chanhassen, Minnetonka, and Richfield, MN, and choose to round up at the register. Your support is so important for helping us get this work done—thank you!


Minnesota State Fair



Thank you to all the cooking demo chefs, food business partners offering samples, volunteers, and attendees taking time to learn about farmland access and linger with some local foods!



Farmland Access

Farmland Summit: Register today!

November 14-15, 2023 | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN


Registration is now open for the 2023 Upper Midwest Farmland Summit! Register today for early bird prices (now through October 15th). 

The 2023 Farmland Summit will bring together farm leaders, change agents, policymakers, and practitioners from around the upper Midwest to dig into critical challenges and opportunities related to farmland access and transfer. Participants will learn, share, and connect around an array of issues such as farmland financing, tenure, conservation, and transfer.

Subsidized registration and travel are available for those seeking support to attend based on availability of funds. Click the button below to learn more.

Interested in sponsoring the Summit? Learn about sponsoring here.

The Summit will be held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN and hosted by the Farmland Access Hub, a consortium of entities working together to improve farmland access for emerging farmers. Email Catie at [email protected] with any questions.


FEAST! Local Foods



We're in the news! Click the image above to see the TV spot featuring one of our cooking demo chefs, Shari Mukherjee.

FEAST! is less than six weeks away, and new details are being announced often. To stay in the loop, sign up for the SCOOP!

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


Wisconsin Women in Conservation

We’d love to have you join us for our Look Book Launch!  

What is a "Look Book"?

We had so many great stories of women demonstrating exemplary conservation practices on the land—and gorgeous photos to show—that we decided we needed to put it all together in an inspiring collection!

Each of the WiWiC partner organizations is holding one of these celebration events to offer you your own copy of our Portraits of Love on the Land...we hope you'll consider joining us for one of these parties (and you know us—we'll have some delicious eats as well)!

Register here 

Wednesday, October 11, 4-6pm

Twin Bluff Farms, Stockholm 

More about WiWiC

Artisan Grains

How much do you think about the role of grains in your diet or on the regional farm landscape?

AGC is launching round three of the Grain Views & Habits Survey to gather knowledge, opinions, and practices related to grains for a regional picture of how we buy and use grains throughout our grainshed. 

Building this multi-year dataset will help identify ways to offer education and to understand if and how consumer perception is changing over time. As a thank you for completing the survey, respondents will have a chance to enter a drawing to win $50-worth of grain-based products from the AGC member of their choice. Add your voice at and please share widely! 

For questions, contact [email protected].

Images in graphic are courtesy of AGC members Askegaard Organic Farm, Tortilleria Zepeda, and Long Table. 


Staff Moment



Staffers Elena and Sara with RTC contractors on the WiWiC project Lisa Kivirist and Alanna Koshollek at the Southern Regional Summit at Green Haven Gardens in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. Farmer Heather Lynch was a wonderful host for the approximately 80 women landowners coming together to learn and celebrate conservation. And we got to wish Lisa well as she is off on a sabbatical of sorts, traveling in Europe for her next chapter. 

Read more on our staff page


Community Happenings

food | ag | ideas week

Led by Naturally MN and partners, FAI is an annual multi-day series of speakers, events, tours, and demo showcases to highlight innovative ideas, make connections across the sectors, invite leaders to join Minnesota's entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem, and move our industry forward,

The 2023 theme is the Future of Food + Ag Innovation: Healthy People, Planet, with pre-conference events and experiences starting on October 3rd.  

Especially check out the Indigenous Peoples' Day event on Oct. 9 and Crash the Networks on Oct.10.

Learn more and register at



organic farmer training

 Are you passionate about organic farming and healthy local food systems? Are you ready to build skills to start or expand your organic farm?

Join Pam Benike of Prairie Hollow Farm and Jacquelyn Zita of Women’s Environmental Institute for this unique 12-month organic farming vocational training to turn your dream of farming into a reality.

When: November 11, 2023 – October 26, 2024

Where: Hybrid program; zoom combined with in-person meetings in Minneapolis and field training.

Learn more and register here. 

*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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