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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Community and Local Food Resources

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Community and Local Food Resources

Working together for community change

Demand for local food in rural communities is growing. Sustainable local food systems need to have strong community support to build and maintain the infrastructure needed to bring food from farm to fork. This website provides resources to support rural communities just beginning to build their community food systems as well as those whose local food systems are already strong. Resources are intended for farmers and producers, community organizations, and Extension Educators but may interest anyone in community and local foods. While this website was a partnership between Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, most resources are applicable for any rural community.

Featured resource

PDF Cover that says Commercial Kitchen Guide

Commercial Kitchen Guide

This is a regulatory manual for people looking to build commercial community kitchens or operate in a commercial community kitchen in Minnesota. This guide will help the user navigate the complicated regulatory environment needed to scale up production for wholesale or retail sales.

Rows of greens in a deep winter greenhouse

Deep Winter Greenhouses

This website is a collection of resources about passive solar greenhouse technology.

pile of carrotsIntroduction to Local Food

Consumer interest in local food is growing. Find out about the local food movement and identify resources for farmers and organizations looking to get involved.
What is Local Food? | The Business of Local Food Production

gavel on top of the ConstitutionLocal Food Policy

Local policy and regulations impact local food. Learn how to advocate for change and use innovative strategies to support local food.
How Policy Can Affect Local Food
| Impacting Local Food Policy in Your Community | Regulations that Impact Local Food Production

person holding a fan of cashAffordable Local Food

Local food can be affordable. Discover how to save at farmers markets, start a community garden, preserve garden produce or bulk foods, and encourage farmers markets to accept public assistance.

hand typing on a cash registerMarketing Local Food

Many farmers are good at growing and producing quality products. Fewer are excellent marketers. Enhance your marketing and reach for increased profits, diversified farming businesses, and lasting customer relationships. How to Market Your Products | Selling to Institutions and Retail | Food Hub Resources

Two people on an orange tractorProduction Resources

Even the most skilled producers need information to help them succeed. Locate resources on season extension, Extension services, good agricultural practices, safe food handling, and more. Resources useful for home gardeners as well as commercial producers.

hand under a sink of waterGood Agricultural Practices

Producers who scale up to larger markets may need Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification. Get the facts on certification and build a food safety plan to maximize product quality and protect farm businesses and customers.

people sitting around a table in a meetingOrganizational Capacity and Structure

Effective local food organizations need to have strong organizational capacity and structure. Find out how to engage supporters, form coalitions, implement projects, and develop program leaders to keep your program strong in the future.

two hand shakingLocal Food Programs and Organizations

Many programs and organizations help producers, retailers, and consumers with local food issues. Connect with another program or organization to help advance your own efforts. Minnesota | North Dakota | South Dakota | National

Other Resources

three people standing in a lunch room

Farm to School

University of Minnesota Extension Farm to School is dedicated to growing healthy kids, farms, and communities.

people exchanging money for produce at a farmer's market

Is Local Food More Expensive?

Consumer price perspective from Iowa State University.

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