The Future of Agriculture Depends on New Faces and New Ideas

February 21, 2020
Cover of Report from the Field 2019-2020

"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:

Download or order your free print copy of 2019/2020 Report from the Field at 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.


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