University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Northeast > Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems > Small Farm and Forest Lives and Livelihoods

Small Farm and Forest Lives and Livelihoods

Project files


To provide a conceptual framework and mechanism, through which diverse Minnesota citizens relate their own, unique natural resource activities, uses, and motivations to a broader network, that has in common natural resources as a component of their lifestyles
and livelihoods. Access to and participation in this network will facilitate communication and social cohesion, enhanced contribution of natural resources to livelihoods, and increased sustainability of natural resource use.


Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership

University of Minnesota Extension –
  • Dave Wilsey, NE Region
  • Julie Miedtke, Itasca County
  • Troy Salzer, Carlton County
  • Kent Gustafson, Tourism Team
  • Dean Current, Center for Integrated Natural Resource and Agricultural 

  • Gary Wyatt, Central Region
  • Raimy Porter – UMN NCROC
List of community partners

2010 NRE Workshop
  • Joy and Will Hedquist – Green Pastures Dairy; Dawn and Tony Newman – Landowners;
  • Bruce and Tawny Savage – Producers; Yvonne Novak, Attorney; Cree Bradley – Farm
  • Beginnings; Kelly Greene – SWCD.

2011 Maple Sugar Blog
  • John Peterson – landowner in central Minnesota; Bruce Savage – Fond du Lac; Charlie
  • Nahgahnub – Fond du Lac, Ralph Fiddledy – Grand Rapids.

2011 NTFP Webinar
  • John Peterson – landowner in central Minnesota

2011 NRE Workshop

  • John Krantz - Business owner; 
  • Don Hermes – Hermes Floral; 
  • David Fuller – Maine

Cooperative Extension; 
  • Steve Vongroven – MN DNR; 
  • Rick Larson – Shade Fund

Handbook Fact Sheets
  • Mike Kempenich (Mike-ology Store)
  • Anna Gerenday (Emeritus Mycologist)
  • Steve Netzman  - MN Mycological Society;
  • Robert Fulgency - MN Mycological Society;
  • John Zasada – Retired USFS
  • Steve Vongroven – DNR
  • Tom Howes – FDL RMD
  • Annette Drewes – Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Dave Fuller – Maine Extension
  • Tim Brigham – Royal Roads University, BC

New partnerships
  • MN Mycological Society, 
  • Department of Ag/Health, 
  • Fond du Lac Tribal Community College


This project as proposed was to catalyze the larger Lives and Livelihoods program by
  • Final developmental stages for the program’s conceptual framework 
  • Initial steps required to bring together people and resources to produce:
    • A set of demonstrative educational workshops on seasonal, keystone1 natural resources, to be presented in the appropriate season
    • A corresponding set of “chapters,” that will become part of a Minnesota Small Farm and Forest Lives and Livelihoods Annual Guidebook [now “Minnesota Harvester Handbook”]
    • One “core” course that will address one of the three main tenets of sustainability: social, ecological, economic
  • Support to finalize our presentation of the program’s conceptual framework coupled with the resources to create a small subset of demonstrative outcomes will facilitate program development and the recruitment of key program partners from within the University and throughout Minnesota.


Thought the project has been slow in its development and execution, it has generated
numerous planned and unplanned outcomes that include:

New partnerships – most notably, we have worked with the MN Mycological Society,
Department of Ag/Health, Fond du Lac Tribal Community College, and are seeing
potential partnership with the School Forests program.

1 In this case, “keystone” refers to natural resources that are recognized as important, or potentially important, to the formation of Minnesota lifestyles and livelihoods.

Workshops – Natural Resource Livelihood and other workshops related to forest product

Additional funding/investment – Forestry program investment of federal dollars.

Publications – A Journal of Extension publication highlighting the use of community
based experts in development and delivery of forestry education.



Leveraged resources

U of M Extension forestry program investment of federal dollars
  • © 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy