CURE along with the Office of Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and Stevens County Soil & Water Conservation District in cooperation with the Land Stewardship Project as part of our work as a We Are Water West Central Minnesota team — are hosting webinar series.
Our shared goal is to amplify the stories of people who are using conservation practices that have important regenerative potential while reducing the impacts on climate change. These practices improve soil health and water quality — and grow deep connections to the land and those who came before them. These are stories from practitioners, people with their boots on the ground, soil under their fingernails. Together, these storytellers are from different backgrounds, cultures, and generations.
Crucially, we are at a critical moment where we need to hear the perspectives of path builders who are catalyzing change in themselves and their communities. Together, we can build a positive rural vision, one that builds stronger lives, livelihoods, lands. We change — when our ideas about what is possible change. This is a six-part series beginning on February 16 and running through June 1. View the webinars live and ask your own questions to these pathbuilding farmers or view the webinars later. This webinar series is also being archived on CURE’s YouTube channel.
Part 1 | Meet Abbey Dickhudt | Prairie Drifter Farm, Litchfield, MN
Tuesday, February 16 | 12pm – 1pm
Abbey Dickhudt shares her experiences as an emerging farmer. Abbey is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and has farmed for several years at community-supported-agriculture (CSA) businesses in Minnesota. Abbey is investigating the agricultural landscape to see what she can learn, and exploring how she can build a livelihood on the land.
Part 2 | Meet Bryan Simon | Lakeside Prairie Farm, Barrett, MN
Tuesday, March 9 | 12pm – 1pm
Bryan Simon shares his experiences of a family blending their love of prairie, water, and operation in Barrett, Minnesota. We will discuss the challenges of returning conventionally-farmed land to a restored prairie for grazing and living next to a farm on a lake. We will explore Bryan’s experiences and education that led his family to take a big leap, purchase their own land, and launch their family farming operation.
Part 3 | Meet Jessica Blair | Fire Rock Farm, Starbuck, MN
Tuesday, March 30 | 12pm – 1pm
Jessica Blair will dig into the challenges of converting her family’s land from conventional farmland into pasture, all while raising six children. What are the challenges and opportunities for women in agriculture and what inspired her to want to be connected to the land and her animals in Starbuck, Minnesota. Jessica did not grow up in a farm family, but decided to build one.
Part 4 | Meet Mark Erickson | Boss Ridge Ranch, Donnelly, MN
Tuesday, April 20 | 12pm – 1pm
Mark Erickson will reflect on his long journey in family farming, including the challenge of rethinking what farming meant for him, and the process of persuading other landowners to allow him to convert their land to pasture for his animals over the past decade around Morris, Minnesota.
Part 5 | Meet Carrie Redden | Twelve Tails Family Farm, Chokio, MN
Tuesday, May 11 | 12pm – 1pm
Carrie Redden shares her efforts to breathe new life/write a new story for their 6th generation family farm. Carrie converted conventional farmland into pasture for their family’s organic dairy operation in Chokio, Minnesota. We explore the learning curve required for this endeavor when she and her husband did not grow up farming. Carrie is an entrepreneur who is learning by doing while deepening her relationship with the land and her animals.
Part 6 | Meet Ella Robertson & Eric Wana | Sisseton Whapton Oyate, Peever, SD
Tuesday, June 1 | 12pm – 1pm
Join our discussion with Ella Robertson and Eric Wana from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate near Peever, South Dakota, who are role models of the idea of Indigenuity — the hard work, perseverance, entrepreneurial spirit, and resilience in working to recover traditional farming methods and practices. With deep connections to the land, we will discuss their current projects and practices, and what they are working to pass along to future generations.
This is a project partnership between the Office of Sustainability – the University of Minnesota, Morris, Stevens County Soil & Water Conservation District, and CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) in cooperation with the Land Stewardship Project as part of our work as a We Are Water West Central Minnesota team.