Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

Media Coverage

West-central Minnesota farmer a pioneer in raising Kernza

Publication: Forum News Service

Author: Tom Cherveny

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak needed only a garage to develop Apple computers and change the world forever.

Carmen Fernholz hopes a 2-acre parcel of his Lac qui Parle County farmland will be what it takes to launch a change in Minnesota’s agricultural landscape for a long time to come as well.

At the request of a researcher he’s known at the University of Minnesota, Fernholz planted 2 acres in 2011 with an intermediate wheatgrass grain trademarked as Kernza.

It’s one of a number of perennials being developed by the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., in partnership with researchers at the University of Minnesota and other land-grant universities as a potential crop for the “second green revolution.” The goal is to develop perennial crops for their many ecological benefits.


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