Best in Show: Four State Fair judges reveal what it takes to bring home a ribbon

Most people associate the Minnesota State Fair with seas of sweaty bodies, rickety Mighty Midway rides, and the inevitable fried food hangover induced by delicacies like Pronto Pups, cheese curds, and a beautiful union resulting in something called the “Pizzarito.” Yet its core purpose remains the same after more than 150 years: to celebrate the … [ Read more]

Big Challenges for Small Dairy: Minnesota farmers seek creative solutions in the face of corporate competition

When I first rang Tom Portner to talk about his dairy farm Port-Haven, he told me to call back in a few minutes—he was in the middle of helping a cow give birth. The third in 24 hours, in fact. “Yesterday I had 24 due, now three of them have calves,” he says when I … [ Read more]