Farmers’ roundtable to focus on current needs

As another difficult farm year shifts into harvest mode, a farmers’ round table is scheduled to talk through the current situation and how farmers can help each other.

The lightly facilitated discussion will take place on Monday, Nov. 11, at the Village of Trempealeau Community Hall, 24455 Third St., Trempealeau, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is being organized by the Sustainable Farming Association/Driftless Chapter, the Izaak Walton League/Upper Mississippi River Initiative, and a group of concerned citizens who held a similar round table in Winona this past spring. The success of that event, combined with ongoing farm challenges, spurred the group to host a fall event.

Additional sponsors include the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Project, League of Women Voters/Upper Mississippi River Region, Minnesota State College Southeast, and University of Minnesota Extension.

Participants at last spring’s event said farmers need to talk to each other more to avoid a “lone wolf” feeling in the face of typical farm concerns, let alone the bigger issues of policy, unusual weather, trade and succession planning.

“Farmers know plenty, and sitting them around a table together, even for one day, might make a connection that eases some of the distress of a difficult year,” said Erik Harris, secretary of SFA/Driftless.

Harris said that conversations will be built around several questions that arose during the first event. “We can’t expect good food and clean water if our farming community itself doesn’t feel strong,” he said.

Please RSVP for lunch to driftless@sfa-mn.org or call 507-796-0152. A free-will donation will be accepted to help cover costs.