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Upstream Foodshed Direct Action, or UFDA as we say here in Minnesota, is a collective of people who come together around food and the local culture. Members of UFDA support the local economy movement and what is referred to as the rural Renaissance.

Growing food is truly an art form. Preparing food is also an art form. UFDA is here to connect food artists of all sorts with our community based on continuing the learning and appreciation for local, hand grown food and hand crafted goods and services. With our collective effort we host on site events that promote local food on many levels. We cook and eat together, we garden together, we raise animals together. We will have community classes with experts in foraging, animal husbandry and processing, food preservation, high density grazing, and much more. We love to team up with other organizations, farms and community members to bring special events to life. 

We do not seek competitive grants therefor rely on our members and our events to support our movement. We aim to keep our community members connected and the board of directors is always open to input and will consider all nominations to the board on an annual basis. The more community members we have, the more we can do, plain and simple. All board members actively donate time and resources to our effort because we believe in the change that UFDA is bringing to our community.

We know that well managed agriculture captures carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the soil and woods. We know that well managed agriculture creates a living soil that filters water, cycles its own minerals, and runs on natural fertility. We are not reinventing the wheel. We are using proven techniques of sustainable agriculture with many names and techniques. Regenerative agriculture, permaculture, silvo-pasture, high density grazing, multispecies mob grazing, deep bed mulch and compost systems, companion planting, deep winter greenhouses, and the list goes on. What we are doing is connecting the dots here in our community. Not everyone has the opportunity to do all of these things on their own, so we have created a community that we can share our experience and expertise. 

Our philosophy on preparing food is the same. We use traditional techniques coupled with fresh local ingredients to prepare delicious food. We serve food at local events, but we also enjoy hosting cooking from scratch get togethers in person and virtually. One of our favorite traditions is making corn tortillas from our corn. Nixtamalization is a process that has been with the people of the Americas for hundreds of generations, and we are here to share that amazing process that creates incredible foods like hominy, masa and tortillas. We focus on understanding fermentation and all of the amazing foods and drinks that are made from this living process. From here the possibilities are limitless. 

What we are most know for is our small scale, on farm processing of animals. It is ethical for an animal to be harvested where it lives its life. We carefully and skillfully work through the process with producers which brings a deeper connection and a greater appreciation for the animals that feed us. We work with all ages and meet producers where they are in the process. Through this on farm process we are able to assess the health of the animals and help producers polish up their methods to raise their food cleaner, more efficiently and less stressful each harvest. 

Our final goal is to collectively purchase land in order to offer emerging sustainable farmers a way to get on the land. Land has drastically risen in price over the past few decades, and now land access is a huge obstacle for those who wish to raise local food. Land is so expensive that is makes it nearly impossible to pay for the farm from the goods produced on any scale. UFDA is working to bridge the gap for trained and ready farmer to get on the land with an affordable option. 

Thank you for checking out Upstream Foodshed Direct Action. If you have any questions we are here for you. 

Sincerely, UFDA

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