One Private Equity Fund Could Own a Quarter of the Chicken Houses for Costco’s Nebraska Project

Three years ago, Costco announced plans to create a vertically integrated chicken business that would supply 40 percent of the retailer’s chicken needs. The corporation is working to build a feed mill and processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska that will create up to 1,000 jobs and strike growing contracts with 70-100 farmers, introducing large-scale poultry production to the state. Continue reading

Regenerative farming could be good for soil and pocketbook

Farmers set a course for the future, by going back to the way it was.  For Clay Govier, that means raising crops beyond the ones he’s always grown. “It's tough to make a good living growing corn and soybeans anymore,” he said.  He'd like to grow peas, kidney beans, sunflowers, and other crops too.  “We really need to get back to growing food people eat,” the Broken Bow farmer said. At the same time, he wants to integrate livestock and manure instead of synthetic fertilizer, while capturing more carbon.   “Improving the soil. A lot of people talk about sustainability. I don't want to sustain what we have,” Govier said, saying sustainability falls short when farmers can be regenerative. Continue reading

Project taps citizen scientists to gauge water quality across Nebraska

A team of researchers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln needs the help of curious people. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, professor of civil engineering, is seeking citizen scientists to conduct water tests in August for a program that’s aiming to track water quality across the state, while also keeping Nebraskans safe. Bartelt-Hunt and her research team are asking volunteers to test well water one time between August 26th to September 9 with a kit provided through the program. The goal is to measure nitrates, nitrites and phosphates in groundwater statewide. Continue reading

Seeds: ReVOLT and Resolve

Graham Christensen sits in the machine shed at his family farm outside Oakland, NE. The farm his Great Grandfather, Christian Christensen, settled to from Denmark in 1867. “They escaped persecution,” he said. “I still have the paperwork that says, ‘It is bona fide my intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce and abjure forever all allegiance and fidelity to all and any foreign Prince, Potentate, State and Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the King of Denmark of whom I was a subject.’” Continue reading

Nebraskans talk extreme weather. Just don’t call it climate change.

Christian Science-Monitor on Why We Wrote This "The severe flooding that inundated Nebraska last month washed away fields, bridges, and roads. But the extreme weather is also starting to sway residents’ thinking about climate." FREMONT, NE -  The flood carried away edges of his fields, dumped up to 6 inches of useless sand on his fertile loam, and deposited, incongruously, the elastic band of a pair of Hanes underwear on a bush. But everywhere Chad Christianson looks, all he sees is green. Continue reading

How Will We Produce Food in the New Era of Climate Extremes? The Solution Lies in The Soil

At the recent Nebraska Farmers Union Convention Dr. Martha Shulski, our State Climatologist who co-authored the 4th National Climate Assessment, eerily foretold to a large group of farmers that we are moving into a new era of weather extremes. Dr. Shulski also noted it was likely that as farmers, we would need to consider a change in our farming practices due to extreme climatic events if we expected to maintain sustainable businesses. Only 3 months later the 2019 Bomb Cyclone hit the midwest, and a perfect storm of conditions led to a series of catastrophic flooding events that cost our farmers millions of dollars. Many of these costs took years of sweat investment and will never be recovered. Continue reading

The Leap: Scenes from a Regenerative Revolution

Jim Knopik has been farming longer than anyone in the room. When it’s his turn to address our impromptu gathering, he glances around the dinner table, briefly making eye contact with a few of the twenty so or folks here—many of whom he’s inspired or mentored over the years—then launches right into it.  “I live west of Fullerton, Nebraska. I have since I was a year old. When I was a year old there were 49 residences within two miles of that place. Now there’s four. So I guess I see what the importance of community is because it’s been lost.” Continue reading

GC Resolve flourished from its founder's roots

Graham Christensen grew up immersed in values of public service, integrity, education and all the responsibilities that come from work on a family farm. His family farm, established in 1867 under the Homestead Act, operates on about 800 acres in his hometown of Oakland, just north of Fremont. Christensen also grew up in the era of the 1980s farm crisis, where he learned the value of hard work. He came to understand that when a person runs up against difficult times, maintaining the ability to speak out for what you believe imparts great purpose and impact on individual’s own circumstances, as well as on the surrounding community. Continue reading