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Recent posts by Wyatt Fraas

Rural Rockstar: Martin Kleinschmit is a Champion of Change

Nebraska farmer Martin Kleinschmit was among 12 people recognized as a Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack welcomed them to a White House ceremony on Oct 26, 2015. Martin has been a pioneer with many of his efforts to help fellow farmers care for their land and make use of renewable energy.

Martin was a Center for Rural Affairs project specialist for 17 years. He worked on beginning farmer issues, soil conservation, organic farming, renewable energy, and grazing management.

Farming Fits Veterans and Veterans Fit Farming

The Center for Rural Affairs has focused on beginning farmers since 1990, when we analyzed the changing age of farmers. In 2009 we noticed an increasing number of inquiries from military veterans about how to start farming, while asking what special help they could get.

The military veterans who sought our advice had the same needs as other new farmers: access to land, financing and information. But they also brought new issues: disabilities, returning to civilian life, a drive to help fellow veterans, a powerful sense of wanting to be of service to their country.

Resources for a Woman-Owned Value Added Agriculture Project

I was asked what organizations would help with grants or loans to a woman-owned start up value added agriculture project. I found quite a few sources, including the national USDA Value Added Producer Grant program, accepting applications until July 7, 2015.

Iowa was the locale of interest. Supposing many of you have similar challenges, I hope these ideas will get you started, no matter where you live.

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