A reader’s theatre production of the play Look Who’s Knockin’ by Doug Nopar will be presented at the Freeman Community Center on Tuesday, April 10
at 7:30pm. The play will be presented by Phyllis Schrag and Jim Graber in the roles of Nettie and Gerald, a retiring farm couple trying
to decide the future of their farm.
The play raises questions of land ethics and the moral dilemma posed by wanting to get top dollar for selling one’s land while desiring to help the next generation of farmers get started farming.
See the Land Stewardship Project’s page for more information and background on the play and links to podcasts.
This performance and discussion is sponsored by Rural Revival.
Rural Revival is hosting an informational program on “Establishing New Farms: Passing
Land on to the Next Generation of Farmers,” at the Salem Mennonite (South) Church, 28103
443rd Avenue, Freeman, on Sunday evening, May 15, at 7:00 p.m.
The program will feature a panel discussion of representatives from Dakota Rural Action,
Brookings, S. D., and Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb. Each of these organizations
facilitates the generational transfer of land from established to incoming farmers throughout the Midwest, with specific “farm beginning” programs.
Rural Revival began with a concern about how the land can be transferred from older
established farmers in our churches to younger people interested in farming. This program will
be of particular interest to older farmers who may not have children interested in farming but
who wish to see their farms passed on to another generation of farmers, younger people who
have an interest in farming, as well as business people. The future of healthy rural communitiesdepends on many people making a living on the land.
There will be
opportunity for questions and discussion, as well as the sharing of stories
about how new generations of farmers came into farming in the past in rural communities like
this. The public is invited to attend. A time of informal fellowship will follow.
It’s worth noting that on April 18th at noon, Dr. Mike
Brown will be presenting an informative overview of modern aquaculture. The presentation will take place at the Freeman Community Library at 12pm and should run between 1 and 2 hours depending on question and answer sessions, etc. The public is welcome, but space is limited and thus limited publicity has been put forth.
The presentation will cover a swath of issues, but will likely have some focus on how fish farming could possibly apply to rural Freeman, SD —
not exactly the place you might think of when it comes to fish. One of the more interesting topics, is how a number of communities have
converted old hog confinement buildings to aquaculture. Likewise there will be discussion on aquaponics, along with newer breeds of fish as least some of which are genetically engineered for concentrated farming.
In March, Mark Bittman of the New York Times has an opinion piece, Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World? that I thought nicely captured a fairly pragmatic, yet in many ways revolutionary view of agriculture that more and more people are coming around to understand, acknowledge and support.
It certainly helps
the legitimacy of an organization like Rural Revival when official UN reports on agriculture acknowledge
and advocate for the sustainable development
of local food markets around the world. Read the article yourself, or jump straight the to the heady UN report directly. It may, at least, provide some food for thought – pun intended.
“Rural Revival” exists on the web.
While not exactly a first for human kind, it is always a little bit of a feat for agriculturalists to find the time to pause long enough to explain to others what we do, what we believe and what we see in the future. This website is but one of those communication channels the group hopes to open up with the local community of rural Freeman, South Dakota and beyond.
It’s probably wise to at least initially point out our group’s Mission Statement so all could see why we exist, and likewise, you’ll probably want to also know what broad goals
we see ourselves undertaking.
As for this website/blog, we hope that it will allow others to get information about us and help us in the coordination of activities and education. We’ll likely be posting somewhat irregularly with bits of news we feel should be shared and that pertain to our mission and goals.