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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Posts By Abbie Stutzer

Inside the Strolling of the Heifers 2015 Locavore Index: Wisconsin

May 10, 2015 |
 Eldeberry Hill Farm Credit: REAP Food Group for both

Elderberry Hill Farm
Credit: REAP Food Group for both

This piece is part of a series exploring the top 10 states in the Strolling of the Heifers 2015 Locavore Index.

Wisconsin was a forward-thinking sustainable agriculture state before the local food movement was “on trend.” Seedstock had the opportunity to interview three people who are at the head of the state’s local food movement. Each person told us a unique story about how deeply Wisconsin’s sustainable roots have grown.

Wisconsin: At the Forefront of Sustainable Agriculture Education

Valerie Dantoin, a faculty member of the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Associate Degree Program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, in Green Bay, Wis., has a master’s degree in agronomy. While she was working on her Ph.D., she met Rick Adamski, a farmer. Upon meeting Adamski, Dantoin “switched gears” and ended up moving to Podanski’s 100-year-old family dairy farm and embraced the farming lifestyle. Read More

Building a Megafarm in Anaheim, CA: A Q&A With Aaron Flora

January 26, 2015 |
Image courtesy of Renewable Farms

Image courtesy of Renewable Farms

Aaron Flora has worked on creating farms with Renewable Farms for years, but he just recently embarked on his biggest project to date, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign: a mega-aquaponics farm for the city of Anaheim, California that will double as a community training center.

Seedstock recently interviewed Flora and asked him about how Renewable Farms made the Anaheim project happen, how the mega farm will remain sustainable and what he hopes this farm will achieve in the future. Read More

Can Aquaponics Thrive in the Midwest? Indiana Startup Bets On It

January 25, 2015 |
Justin Long, CEO. Photo courtesy Justin Long.

Justin Long, CEO. Photo courtesy Justin Long.

How can a cold, Midwestern state grow organic produce all year, while also providing fresh fish to the local community? Those are the questions Justin Long, co-founder and CEO, and Jason Fry, co-founder, asked themselves before founding Blue Lotus Aquaponics in November 2013.

Before creating their company, Long and Fry did their research by traveling to a few Midwestern states and visiting places where people were experimenting with aquaculture techniques.

Long wanted to dabble in aquaponics because of its sustainable, high-yield nature. And Fry’s family background in commercial farming in northern Indiana helped him to flesh out the company’s overall concept. Read More

Precisely Sustainable: 5 Big Ideas Transforming Agriculture

November 6, 2014 |
Chicago Botanic Garden’s McCormick Place West Rooftop Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden’s McCormick Place West Rooftop Garden

New research and technological developments are allowing farmers to discover some very precise ways to grow food in the most efficient way possible.

We’ve rounded up 5 precision ideas that have emerged in a big way in the past several years, and are poised to change food production as we know it. Read More

8 Young Farmers (and 4 Farms) to Watch

November 5, 2014 |
Photo courtesy of Truck Farm.

Photo courtesy of Truck Farm.

From coast to coast, 20- and 30- something adults are ditching their power suits and ties for shovels and seeds. From novice upstarts to young farmers carrying on a family legacy, we’ve rounded up some inspiring, young farmers, farming duos, and teams who are leading the charge in sustainable farming. Read More

Missouri Program Brings Fresh Food to Regional Pantries, One Seed Pack at a Time

September 23, 2014 |
Photo by Kyle Spradley

Photo by Kyle Spradley

Grow Well Missouri has taken a simple concept – distributing seeds to people who visit a local food pantry – and started a mini-fresh food revolution. 

The program originated at the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security at the University of Missouri. The program had its “soft opening” after a research group surveyed food pantry clients and discovered some interesting data.  Read More

Feeding Flint: Budding Aquaponics Program Plans to Engage Youth and Neighborhoods

August 27, 2014 |
Photo courtesy of Kettering University.

Photo courtesy of Kettering University.

Kettering University and Metro Community Development in Flint, Michigan, are working together to build an aquaponics farm that could eventually feed area neighborhoods.

Metro Community Development first approached Kettering University to help research and plan the potential aquaponics facility, says Dr. Matthew Sanders, professor and director of the Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences at Kettering University.  Read More

Midwest Nonprofit Gives Voice to Women Farmers

August 13, 2014 |
Bridget Holcomb. Photo courtesy of WFAN.

Bridget Holcomb. Photo courtesy of WFAN.

Bridget Holcomb, newly appointed executive director of the non-profit Women, Food & Agriculture, has always been interested in issues concerning sustainability. For her, it’s a no brainer that the current generation needs to live sustainably to improve the lives of future generations.

“For anyone interested in issues around sustainability, it is not long before we realize that food and agriculture is center to how we live sustainably,” she says.

Denise O’Brian, a southwest Iowan farmer, founded WFAN in 1997 to help raise women’s voices who work in agriculture. For the past 17 years, WFAN has helped female farmers in the Midwest and other regions and world network and learn. Read More