Tag Archives: food and farming

Learning from Irish farms

IMG_4777With stone walls and grazing cattle, Irish farms look like tourist attractions, but farming is still serious business here.

Imagine being paid to maintain fragile land as permanent pasture. Imagine a farm subsidy program designed to support young farmers, small farms and organic farms. Imagine a farm program that declares that 30 percent of direct payments are conditioned on compliance with “greening” criteria, such as crop diversification and crop rotation. All that is part of Ireland’s agricultural economy, where agriculture and food produce 25 percent of the country’s export earnings. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under environment, food and farming

Cheap fries, high costs to Minnesota land and water

Sebeka, Minnesota vegetable farmer Kathy Connell went to McDonald’s last week — not the restaurant, but the annual shareholder meeting. She had a message about pine forests, potatoes and Minnesota water, but McDonald’s shut her out. Connell, along with other Minnesotans and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is concerned about R.D. Offutt Company’s use and misuse of land and water in northwestern Minnesota’s Cass, Hubbard, Becker and Wadena counties, part of the Pineland Sands Aquifer. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under agriculture, environment, food and farming