"I grew up on this farm and had no desire to become a farmer,” says Liz Brownlee, talking about a 250-family property near Crothersville, Ind. But eventually, Brownlee and her husband Nate came to see farming as the ideal way to combine a passion for food with an ethic of environmental stewardship.
SARE’s 2019/2020 Report from the Field shares how the Brownlees and other SARE grantees are shaping the future of agriculture.
Download SARE's 2019/2020 Report from the Field now.
In 2013, the Brownlees moved back to the family property and started Nightfall Farm, where they graze hogs, turkeys, chickens and sheep for sale through a 50-share CSA, farmers’ markets and local chefs. Recently, the Brownlees identified access to quality meat processing as a barrier to meeting their goals.
So they teamed up with Indiana University specialists and another farmer to obtain a SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to conduct a study on the feasibility of creating a butcher shop to improve direct sales. “We’re trying to be useful to our community here in Indiana,” says Brownlee, who plans to share the business planning documents from their study with other farmers.
Other stories in Report from the Field that demonstrate how SARE grantees are improving the sustainability of U.S. agriculture include:
- Oregon Farmers Grow Winter Squash to Expand Off-Season Sales
- Grazing Cattle and Seeding Perennials to Restore Degraded Rangelands
- Equipping Farmers with Tools to Manage Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
- Urban Farmers Adopt More Efficient Soil Management Practices
- North Dakota Farmers Pursue Soil Stewardship Through Cover Crops
- Field Peas: A New Crop to Replace Fallow and Diversify the Farm
- Using Locally Sourced Wood Chips for Effective Weed Management
- North Carolina Graduate Student Tackles On-Farm Food Waste
- Promoting the Adoption of Interseeding for Increased Sustainability
- Strengthening Interpersonal Relationships On and Off the Farm
- Driving Birds Away from Corn Fields with a Laser Scarecrow
- Balancing Farm Viability with Serving Local Low-Income Families
Download or order your free print copy of 2019/2020 Report from the Field at https://www.sare.org/Report-from-the-Field or by calling (301) 779-1007. 2019/2020 Report from the Field is available in quantity for free to educators for use in educational workshops, classes or tours.