Verna Kragnes is founder of New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative. She is also a Farmer at Prairie Rose Farm, and Research & Innovation Director at Prairie Rose Agricultural Institute for Research, Innovation & Education. Verna grew up on a farm near Moorhead, MN. She received her bachelor’s degree from NDSU. She then moved to Inver Grove Heights, MN, where she worked as a teacher and secondary school administrator. After moving to Philadelphia, PA, for a couple years, Verna and her husband, Rick, moved back to the Twin Cities. There, they started, “one of the first two CSA farms to market to the Twin Cities, which had an associated non-profit, Philadelphia Community Farm.”
Verna and Rick moved back to Moorhead in 2014. Verna stated, “My involvement here has included organizational consulting, serving as the Executive Director of Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society for two years, and since 2015 serving as an organizing and board member for the New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative which provides access to land, technical support, and shared resources for disadvantaged farmers seeking to launch a small farm enterprise.” Verna has always had a passion for helping others.
About New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative
New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative serves local immigrants who desire to establish their own farm enterprises/businesses. Their mission includes, “Uniting compassionate hearts and skills from many cultures for renewal of health, agriculture and community.”
Verna participated in the Minnesota Futurists Society subcommittee on education for a couple years. While she was attending Graduate School at the University of Minnesota, she “made a commitment to a life building educational models and new organizational forms that would be helpful when we reached the point we are in at this time.”
Verna states, “Living a life that is building new models and forging new dynamics in relationships has its ups and downs, but looking back, I can feel happy with how my experiences all seem to fit together in a coherent pattern leading to this point in my life.”
When asked how the community can support Verna and New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative, she states, “Both donations and investment funding are needed to complete planned land acquisition, existing building renovation, and establish additional training and agricultural production/research facilities. We envision multiple moveable high tunnels and a deep winter greenhouse on a farm that demonstrates an integration of small scale vegetables and animal production systems.”