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About Us



Unite compassionate hearts & skills from many cultures for a renewal of health, agriculture, and community and restoring health and vitality to people, animals, plants, and the earth


Demonstrate equitable access to food, land & small-scale regenerative farming practices integrating livestock & cropping systems for enhancing carbon sequestration, & advancing soil health to address the crisis of climate change and the reinvigoration of life and spirit in both rural and urban communities


 There are educational, research and demonstration activities for everyone. Join us as we work toward improving human health, environmental stewardship, farm land preservation and education and training in sustainable agriculture.

Ecological Soil
Social Soil
Inner Soil
Renewing three soils...


Amina Abdul
 Community Garden Initiator

Mason Berube
Farm Intern

Karla Hernandez
VISTA Volunteer
 C.A.S.A. Latino Center Initiator
Verna Kragnes
Director of Research & Innovation
& Interim Executive Director
Edmund Buscho
Farm Intern

Rick Hall

Education Program and Development Director

Heath, Arati_edited.jpg
Amy New Roots.jpeg
Arati Gurung Heath
Youth Food & Ecology lLaison
Youth Steward
Amy Rice
New Roots Farmer Board Member
Junior Youth Steward 
Bentli, Francisco
Junior Youth Stewards



Cecilia  Amadou, MPH,

Cecilia loves her family; she says it’s the most important thing in her life and she readily shares family stories. As the new Northwest Regional Director of the University of Minnesota Extension, she has much responsibility for staff and programs that help our communities. Yet, she notes, her ultimate responsibility is with family. Cecilia lived in Ghana, Africa, until she was 10 years old. There were five in the family, which she jokingly says helps one “see how to navigate the world.” That little girl moved and grew up in Plainfield, Illinois, where she found education to be the key to her future. She had visions of being a doctor, so her undergraduate studies were in chemistry and biology. “But by my fourth year, I discovered I liked prevention more than treating people when they were sick,” she said.  So off she went to Springfield, Illinois, earning her Master’s degree in public health.

Jennifer Aranda, EdD. UMN Extension Educator for leadership and civic engagement in the Center for Community Vitality. Her background includes community-building focusing on marginalized populations, particularly in rural and greater Minnesota.

Jennifer has worked with community-based organizations, non-profits, and higher education institutions to explore the many facets of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, provide training, and facilitate dialogue that builds pathways leading to change. A resident of Moorhead, Minnesota, Jennifer is an advocate for projects that promote an enhanced understanding of social equity and social justice. Aranda has a doctorate in education, holds an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified AdministratorLicense, and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach

“I’m one of the founding members of the Indigenous Association,” says Brandon Baity, Ojibway. Interim Executive Director. “Our goal is to unite, connect and strengthen the Indigenous community in the Fargo-Moorhead area..” Brandon lives in Moorhead with his wife Tanya and their three children.

Deborah Blood is the Conference Minister for the Northern Plains Conference of the United Church of Christ. The Conference is multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-national serving five nations (USA, Canada, Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan) Deborah has worked as a music teacher, a practicing attorney, and a local church pastor. She has had extensive training in mediation and conflict resolution and has contributed this expertise in different settings. 


Lemoine Lapointe is a member of the Sicangu Lakota, the Titunwan division of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). The living legacy of his indigenous people enlivens his more than 35 years of engagement–centered facilitation and experiential leadership of youth at risk and adults in multicultural settings, from geographically isolated tribal communities to ethnically diverse inner-city neighborhoods..


Carlos Mariani, Minnesota Equity Partnership, Executive Director, was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1990 and retired in 2020, representing St. Paul district 65B. He has focused his efforts on issues affecting urban and minority communities including education, public transit, and housing and economic development and has authored several race equity bills that were signed into law: MN Prosperity (DREAM) Act for undocumented students, the Learning English for Academic Proficiency and Success Act (LEAPS) promoting linguistic capacity of emerging multi-linguals  including those whose first language is not English, and the Achievement and Integration in MN Act (AIM) re-establishing Minnesota’s school racial integration revenue program to combine academic outcomes with racial integration efforts. He was a Bush Fellow in 2013.


Dipayan Sarkar, PhD, Research Physiologist, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) · Fargo, North Dakota, Skills: Enzymology · Metabolites · Analytical Biochemistry · Postharvest Biology · Plant Physiology

Specific innovations and technology platforms focus on 1) plant abiotic stress tolerance for climate resilience; 2) human health relevant nutritional qualities, and

3) post-harvest preservation qualities of food plants and plant-based foods for countering food wastes.  This novel approach harnesses dual function benefits of plant phenolics for sustainable food and nutritional security solutions and for addressing climate change-linked agricultural production challenges.






Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, is an expert in climate-smart agriculture promoting low-carbon green approaches for rural development. He has developed low-cost farming solutions utilizing natural resources which are benefiting thousands of farmers. Globally he has played a leading role in the development of strategies, programs and policies addressing the issues of food security, rural poverty reduction, sustainable development, and Gross National Happiness (GNH). He has advised international organizations, governments and NGO’s in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Holland, and Costa Rica. In Bhutan he developed the National Organic Standards of Bhutan, zero-cost certification systems, training manuals, strategies and other documents to empower poor farmers and facilitate the nation to be 100% organic and carbon neutral. Board Director of Demeter Association Inc. of US.


Rodrigo Cala LEDC AGRICULTURAL TRAINER  grew up in a farm family near Mexico City which grew broccoli and cauliflower. The family operated a vending booth at the Centro de Abastos in Mexico City, a huge wholesale market. He moved from Mexico to Minnesota in 1996. After graduating from the Minnesota Food Association three-year training program for immigrant farmers near Marine on St. Croix, MN, Rodrigo and his brother purchased their own farm. At LEDC, Rodrigo is responsible for developing and delivering an agricultural training program for beginning Latino farmers. He provides the technical steps in raising a broad variety of vegetables to guide beginning farmers as they launch farm incubator cooperatives, on-site consulting to each group in the initial year of production & ongoing support in succeeding years.

In Moorhead and Pelican Rapids Rodrigo met with aspiring immigrant farmers, including the New Roots farmers,  and local community members to discuss possibilities for more training & financial resources.


Rachel & Steffen Schneider, co-founders of Mindful Agriculture Institute at the Chester Agricultural Center,. Serving as farmers/educators based at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville, NY, they initiated the Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings Program which brought this unique, farmer led, community networking whole farm planning program to the east coast. Over the last 6 years, the HVFB Program has graduated 135 participants, 89 of which are farming and 44 of whom are on their own farms.

Biodynamic Agriculture


Noreen Thomas, Doubting Thomas Farm, educator, producer, and former Bush Fellow believes that knowledge shared with others can collectively aid in resolving our world's hunger problems. Noreen and her husband, Lee, have been certified-organic producers since 1997, farming 1,200 acres of grains, feed and beans for domestic as well as foreign markets. Noreen, has a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from NDSU. With the Junior Master Gardener program, she worked with youth and adults to plan, plant, tend and harvest organic vegetables for local buyers. Noreen developed learning tools for New Americans and underserved populations, including visual learners and those with physical and learning disabilities. She is an advocate for agriculture, youth, rural life and a healthier world for all people. Noreen has joined forces with her daughter-in-law, Melany in raising and malting oats and barley, highly sought by local craft brewers.

Where We Are

PRAIRIE (Prairie Rose Agricultural Institute for Research, Innovation, and Education) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit.


Prairie Rose Farm, LLC, is a Community Farm on 71 acres of land located 12 miles north and east of Moorhead, MN. 

An Urban Food & Ecology Initiative in collaboration with First Congregational UCC is emerging at 4th Ave & 9th St. S. in Moorhead, MN.


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