Beginning Farmers Named White House Champions of Change

Minnesota Beginning Farmers Chosen as White House ‘Champions of Change’: Presidential Ceremony for Land Stewardship Project Members Ryan & Tiffany Batalden

Southwestern Minnesota beginning farmers Ryan and Tiffany Batalden will be honored as “Champions of Change” by President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony today, beginning at 9 a.m. CDT. The Bataldens are Land Stewardship Project (LSP) members and fifth generation beginning farmers in Lamberton, Minn. Along with their three young children — Finn, Lilly and Stella — they grow certified organic corn, soybeans, oilseeds and small grains on 380 acres, raise livestock, and have a direct-market popcorn business called Patriot Pops.

“It’s an honor for us to be selected White House Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change. It’s particularly appropriate that the White House is recognizing people out in the countryside who are thinking long and hard about the future of American agriculture,” said Ryan Batalden, who serves on the Land Stewardship Project’s Land Access Committee, which is investigating the obstacles beginning farmers face when trying to get agricultural operations established. “There are many of us who see great opportunities in agriculture, but also recognize some of the significant barriers beginning farmers face if they are to get established successfully on the land.”

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