Newsletter – June 2014

Newsletter – June 2014
Midwest Goes Organic!



Well, one farm at a time, anyway. During the winter, I attended the Midwest Organic Farming Conference (MOSES) during the Polar Vortex when it was zero degrees outside and there were thousands of people inside at the event. I couldn’t believe it. I thought the Midwest was all GMO corn and factory farms!  Who knew there was this robust organic sector?

HOT OFF THE PRESS;  the new issue of Organic Gardening magazine has our article about Illinois’ Vietnam vet, Cheryl Bezenjak, starting Growing Healthy People, to assist vets with moving into farming. Go buy a magazine, it’s a great story.

This July, Ground Operations will celebrate six different veteran efforts as we travel throughout five states for our Midwest Film & Farms Tour! We will be hosting a series of screenings and raising funds for veteran farms and programs (listed below). Come join us or tell a friend who lives there.

Each event will include delicious farm-fresh food and beverages, a screening of the film, and a discussion between the audience, the filmmaker Dulanie Ellis, farmer-veterans, and leaders in the local community food scene.  The idea is to connect people and resources.

These are all fledgling farms and programs, let’s help them get rooted.
We appreciate any support you can give to help to fund the Midwest Tour. Whether or not you can make it to one of these events, please support our farmer-veterans with a donation.
Click Here to Make a Donation

The Midwest Film & Farms Tour is made possible in part by sponsorship from Applegate Farms and Organic Valley.


Click on Location for Ticketing

Des Moines, IA – July 13th – 7:00 – 9:00pm

Sauk Centre, MN – July 15th – 5:30 – 9:00pm

Madison, WI – July 18th – 7:30-10:00pm

Green Bay, WI –  July 19th – 4:00 – 6:30pm

Grayslake, IL – July 20th – 4:00-6:30pm

Flint, MI – July 23rd – 5:00 – 7:30pm

Des Moines, IA
Sunday, July 13th – 7:00 – 9:00pm

Jasper Winery
2400 George Flagg Pkwy,
Des Moines, IA 50321

Hosted By:
The Women’s Food & Agriculture Network
Farmer Veteran Coalition-Iowa
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Center for Rural Affairs
Practical Farmers of Iowa 

and Eat Greater Des Moines

Women are the fastest rising demographic in new farmers. In Iowa, we celebrate the women veterans in sustainable agriculture and the breadth of work being done in the heartland.

$20 General Admission – Free to Veterans and Farmers
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Sauk Centre, MN
Tuesday, July 15th – 5:30-9:00pm

@ Eagle’s Healing Nest,
310 U.S. 71 North
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

This is a family fun affair: Picnic dinner with ice cream from the Dairy Princesses –  Draft horses buggy rides – Demos in Medicine Wheel Model Horse Training –
White Earth: Drumming & dance to bless the crops. Daycare during film and a discussion afterward.
Rep. Paul Anderson, speaker.

Hosted By:
The Eagle’s Healing Nest
Mid-West Draft Horse Association
Sauk Centre Future Farmers of America

and Dairy Princesses
$20 Per Family – Free to Veterans and Farmers
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Madison, WI
Friday, July 18th – 7:30-10:00pm

@ Peacefully Organic Produce Farm
5101 Cty. Rd. M
Westport, WI 53705

Hosted By:
Peacefully Organic Produce
Farley Center for Peace, Justice & Sustainability
The Community of Bishop’s Bay

and Edible Madison.

Peacefully Organic Produce is a young, veteran-led community farm, that is providing both camaraderie and training for other veterans.  Led by two former Marines (both engineering graduates), the farm is a CSA and part of a larger sustainable plan: The Community of Bishop’s Bay.

$20 Admission – Free to Veterans and Farmers
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Green Bay, WI
Saturday, July 19th – 4:00 – 6:30pm

@ Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
2740 W. Mason St, Student Center SC-128
Green Bay, WI  54307

Green Bay is galvanizing a network to develop a veterans-into-agriculture pathway, working with education in sustainable agriculture, a new regional food market/coalition and veteran groups. A tour of the Organic Teaching Gardens precedes the food, film and farmer-veterans.

Hosted By:
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
and New Leaf Market

Free Admission – Donations Will be Asked
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Grayslake, IL
Sunday, July 20th – 4:00-6:30pm

@Prairie Crossing Charter School
1531 Jones Point Rd.
Grayslake, IL  60030

Hosted By:
Growing Healthy People
College of Lake County

Co-Sponsored By
Liberty Prairie Foundation

Growing Healthy People is a new program that assists interested vets to stage their entry into agricultural careers. They’re networking with community gardens that serve the food bank, the local college’s sustainable Ag program, an incubator farm and business center for beginning farmers and nearby veteran assistance services. They are a model of what needs to happen all across America.

Free Admission – Donations Will be Asked
Click Here to Learn More or Register

Flint, MI
Wednesday, July 23rd – 5:00-7:30pm

@ Flintopia
2002 Lewis St.
Flint 48506

Hosted By:
Flintopia: Developing Sustainable Community

Michigan State University – Institute of Ag Tech
Genesee County Land Bank
Flint Seed Democracy
Flint Talk Radio
Edible Flint

and Heirloom Peace Gardens

Flintopia is a veteran-led initiative to develop a permaculture/sustainable living center in the heart of Flint’s “Green Innovation Zone” downtown. Erich Spielmaker, a vet and graduate student of management, has taken over an old bank building and is repurposing it for growing food, creating a community kitchen and winter warming station.  Flint Talk Radio will stream the event live.

Free Admission – Donations Will be Asked
Click Here to Learn More or Register


Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields is a documentary film and social action campaign that champions combat veterans who are becoming sustainable farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers. Our goal is to strengthen the veterans-in-agriculture network and increase their resources, so that they can create healthy new lives for themselves and delicious food security for us all.

See the 2-minute trailer:

See KCET-Link TV 13-minute sneak preview:

America needs a million new farmers. Veterans want the job!


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