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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Community and Local Food Resources > Local Food Program and Organizations > Minnesota Programs and Organizations

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Local Food Programs and Organizations

Minnesota Programs and Organizations

University of Minnesota Extension
Extension education and research improves economic, social and environmental conditions in Minnesota and the world by engaging Minnesotans to make better decisions, take positive action and create significant outcomes in their lives and communities. Much of Extension’s research, outreach, and activities focus on agriculture, health, sustainability, and rural economics. Extension engages over 30,000 volunteers annually and leverages tens of millions of dollars in federal, state, and county investments.

Small Farms
University of Minnesota Extension
Serves Minnesota Farmers by providing education in crop and livestock production, natural resources conservation, and business management to enhance the sustainability of Minnesota's small farms.

Commercial Fruits and Veggies
University of Minnesota Extension
Provides education and resources on refining production and marketing practices to produce healthy foods and enhance profitability. Focuses on early-season stand establishment and integrated cropping systems that improve efficiency, use fewer inputs, and protect natural resources.

Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
This team brings University research to Minnesota producers and industry professionals through educational programs, clinics and conferences, on-farm research, web resources, and publications. They give producers the tools they need to make sustainable and profitable choices.

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture — University of Minnesota
MISA is a resource for small and sustainable farmers in Minnesota and beyond. They bring together diverse interests of the agriculture community with interests from across the University of Minnesota community. MISA hosts a sustainable agriculture listserv that is used by people involved in the local sustainable agriculture community. They also release educational publications to help sustainable farmers become more adept at a variety of topics like agritourism, business planning and marketing, crops and soils, and local food systems.

Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships — University of Minnesota
RSDP works to sustain Minnesota's natural resource-based communities and industries by addressing community-identified agriculture, natural resources, and tourism issues. Regional partnerships have been established in five different regions of the state. To date, RSDP has funded over 182 projects for a total of approximately $3,000,000.

Localfood.umn.edu
Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships — University of Minnesota
This website serves as a hub of information on local foods in Minnesota. It includes an interactive map allowing users to see the location of a range local food entities (i.e., coops, CSAs, farmers markets, processors, etc.). The "Learn" section of the website includes access to wide array of reports, experts, and research on local foods. There is also a section to "Connect" where farmers, processors, and retailers can create a profile and interact through the website.

Southeast Foodshed Planning Initiative
Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships — University of Minnesota
SEFPI seeks to engage the research and outreach capabilities of the UMN to respond to issues articulated by citizens in an effort to build a vibrant regional food infrastructure in Southeastern Minnesota. So far SEFPI has engaged over 25 UMN faculty members and graduate students and over 30 community members to serve on its steering committee-representing farmers, grocers, non-profits, local government, schools, community groups and private interests. This website also provides links to SEFPI’s primary research findings.

Pride of the Prairie
Pride of the Prairie coordinates the Buy Fresh Buy Local Upper Minnesota River Valley program. As part of the BFBL campaign, Pride of the Prairie supports local foods in West Central Minnesota through educational events, supporting farm to school, and providing a local foods guide of local farms and food businesses in the West Central Minnesota region.

Land Stewardship Project
LSP fosters an ethic of stewardship for farmland, promotes sustainable agriculture and develops sustainable communities. LSP's work has a broad and deep impact, from new farmer training and local organizing, to federal policy and community based food systems development.

Water Story: Chippewa River 10 percent Project
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Project intends to help find viable ways for farmers to make money while improving water quality through planting perennials on sensitive areas. The end goal is to get an additional 10 percent of the land in the Chippewa River Watershed in perennials while also producing high quality food and biomass fuels.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
MDA’s mission is to enhance Minnesotans' quality of life by ensuring the integrity of the state’s food supply, the health of the environment, and the strength of Minnesota’s agricultural economy. From food safety to grants to licensing, this website is a consolidated source of information for growers, consumers, and citizens involved in Minnesota agriculture.

Minnesota Food Association
MFA provides farmers with the skills and knowledge to operate their own viable organic and sustainable vegetable farms, while providing fresh, organic produce to local consumers by the farmers-in-training and promoting a more sustainable food system. MFA’s Big River Farms Program operates an immigrant and minority farmer training program together with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and wholesale distribution service. Their website includes a range of other information including resources for consumers, buyers lists, recipes, and more.

Minnesota Food Charter
The Minnesota Food Charter will identify what is needed to ensure healthy, affordable, and safe food for all Minnesotans. This charter will inform decision making across the state, promote stronger networks and increased collaboration, and involve the community in its creation.

Minnesota Grown
The Minnesota Grown Program is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. This state-sponsored branding program helps to differentiate their local and regional products from distant competitors products. The Minnesota Grown Program has over 1,100 diverse members including farmers' markets, CSA farms, garden centers, wineries, fruit and vegetable growers, pick-your-own farms, livestock producers, meat processors, Christmas tree growers, and producers of honey, wild rice, maple syrup, cheese, and other gourmet products.

Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota
This is a member based support system network of sustainable farmers in Minnesota. Programs include Farm Transition workshops that address transition planning issues; political advocacy for sustainable farmers; the Minnesota Dairy Initiative that assists farmers interested in sustainable dairy production practices; school to farm tours; and a New Crops Assessment program that helps farmers grow and market hard to find foods like quinoa, spelt, currant, and burdock.

Renewing the Countryside
Renewing the Countryside promotes sustainability-based rural enterprises, communities, farmers, artists, and others whose work supports rural renewal. RTC connects farmers and food buyers, catalyzes food systems development, conducts food systems research, provides training and networking opportunities for new farmers, assists older farmers with transitions plans, and conducts public education on food systems. RTC also has published books that highlight examples of innovative rural entrepreneurs and businesses.

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