Beginning Farmer & Rancher News

Hilda Considers Farm to School

Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.

Once full of tall grasses and pine trees, an acreage surrounded by corn on the outskirts of Fremont, Neb., now offers a food oasis.

Hilda Moreno and her husband, Carlos Alvarado Vega, are beginning Latino farmers. The couple purchased the farm two years ago and, at the request of their sons, started a small-scale poultry business focused on egg production.

Women circle around sustainable farming

Since April, the Center, along with a small group of women farmer leaders, has co-led the first two in a series of Women Farmer Learning Circles on sustainable farming in a changing climate. Participating women are considered the “experts” on their own production, farmland, and conservation needs, and are encouraged to speak about their own experiences and goals rather than passively listen to a professional in a traditional lecture format. This format builds knowledge, confidence, and community around topics the group is most interested in exploring.

What Advice Would You Give a New Banker?

Recently a new loan officer in a small rural bank reached out to me, wondering what training I could recommend for her. It´s refreshing to get a question like that. A lender who shows curiosity in learning more about new crops or ideas is a valuable asset in a small community.

In my work with beginning farmers and veterans, I´ve observed a lot of farmer/lender interactions and thought a lot about how they could be improved. So I set forth to offer my advice to this young banker. See if you agree.

Map of My Kingdom Play Examines Farm Transitions

“Would my husband and I automatically move into town so the next generation can move in?” asked a farmer. “And what would be our plans for our farm if our children will run it as ‘absentee landlords’?”

Such questions and others filled a room in Columbus, Nebraska, one day in March. What are the decisions that farm and ranch families make around the next generation to own their land? Do these decisions strengthen the family, or cause friction and bad feelings? Are there examples or help to work through these decisions?

Supper Would Have to Wait

A day doesn’t go by when I don’t read an article or hear from some expert on the news about the importance of “making yourself a priority” and “taking care of you.” I imagine the people who come up with this stuff live a very different lifestyle than myself and others residing on a farm or ranch and in rural America.

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