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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Southeast > Southeast Foodshed Planning Initiative (SEFPI)

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Southeast Foodshed Planning Initiative (SEFPI)


The SEFPI is a multidisciplinary, multi-year research initiative focused on SE MN that is informed by over a decade of food systems partnerships and projects. SEFPI brings the analytical strength of the U of M to our region's efforts to build a regional food infrastructure.


Sponsored over 25 U of M students, research fellows, and faculty members and involved over 40 community members


An on-going component this FY is a second phase of the foodshed analysis research that will provide a representative regional diet based on translated economic data, and identify potential economic benefits of utilizing surplus agricultural land for commodity crops.


The research materials of SEFPI food system efforts have been compiled into a "metadoc" called, "A Set of Research Tools and Studies Concerning the Food Environment of Southeast Minnesota." It is hoped that the digital reports, charts, and Excel data files found in this metadoc will be used by the Healthy Food Alliance of SE MN and other SE and statewide entities to help improve food system work in this region and to help realize a healthy food environment for all. Access the materials from the link below.
The Food Environment of Southeast Minnesota: A Set of Research Tools and Studies

On January 14, 2015, U of M Soil, Water, and Climate Research Fellow Jake Galzki, held a webinar to discuss his research to determine food demands of SE Minnesota based on population data and a representative diet. The study analyzed the feasibility of supplying the nutritional needs for a 15-county region entirely from locally grown foods. Optimization tools were used to allocate food supply based on production potential and availability of agricultural resources to meet the demands of population centers while minimizing the total distance food travels. Maps were created to display the agricultural footprint needed to feed each city in the region. This work of Galzki, Mulla & Peters provides further support for on-going discussions statewide of a more locally-based food system, as this model could be replicated in other regions of the state.

This research was funded by the U of M SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership as part of the SE Foodshed Planning Initiative and is the first Minnesota application of the acclaimed foodshed spatial mapping model developed for New York State by Dr. Christian Peters. Similar studies have been done across the country with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


SERP FY2014 spent: $2,256

SERP additional allocated: $30,000

SERP past funding: $163,921

Leveraged resources

  1. $3,250.00 Center for Rural and Urban Affairs, Community Assistantship Program intern, student researcher
  2. $8,000.00 graduate student research assistantship via Paul Porter, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
  3. $1,400.00 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
  4. Additional UM student, staff, faculty time beyond funding
  5. Community board and steering committee time
Last updated 10-11-2013
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