Minnesota Tag

Farmers across Minnesota now have access to detailed financial information about the profitability of cover crops through the FINBIN farm financial database. A collaboration between The University of Minnesota's Center for Farm Financial Management, Minnesota State Farm Business Management, Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association, Minnesota Office for Soil Health, and Environmental Defense Fund is making the information available. The initial findings include data from 17 farms growing cover crops and, over the coming years, the cover crop dataset will grow to include more than 85 farms across Minnesota. Preliminary data showed that farmers spent $26 per acre on cover...

Related ATTRA publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms Farmers enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) have higher profits than non-certified farms, according to a recent study by the Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence. This marks the third year of data highlighting improved financial outcomes. The three years of data serve as an early indicator of a positive return on investment for whole-farm conservation management farmers implement to become certified. "We see that farms in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program have major benefits on the environment, and now we see with three years of data...

Related ATTRA podcast: Episode 199. Why Farm to School? Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced that it is awarding nearly $742,000 to 46 school districts across the state to increase the amount of healthy local foods in school meals. Several types of Farm to School grants were offered: First Bite Mini-Grants for districts with little to no experience with farm to school, Full Tray grants for experienced districts expanding programs, and equipment grants to support farm to school initiatives. A complete list of recipients is available online. ...

A new Land Stewardship Project (LSP) billboard campaign promoting the power of building healthy soil on southern Minnesota farms utilizes striking photos, inspiring quotes, and humor to get across the benefits of utilizing cover cropping, managed rotational grazing, no-till, and diverse rotations to build resilient, biologically healthy soil. The campaign was inspired by the eight farmers who sit on the group's Soil Builders' Network steering committee. "Part of the message we're trying to get across is that building healthy soil is not only good for the land and a farmer's bottom line, but is a fun way to take control...

In Minnesota, a Statewide Cooperative Partnership for Local and Regional Markets led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Minnesota is surveying small-, mid-sized- and emerging farmers on direct sales. Producers are asked to share their experiences operating farms and selling in direct-to-consumer and direct-to-institution markets such as farmers markets, U-Pick, CSAs, and schools. Results will help identify market trends and opportunities, support the development of programs and services such as the MDA's Minnesota Grown program, and strengthen recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature to support historically underrepresented and under-supported farmers....

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded nearly $2.9 million in 2021 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants to 24 recipients across the state. The grant program aims to boost the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Minnesota through marketing and promotion, research, and development, expanding availability and access, and addressing challenges confronting producers. Funded projects address disease-resistant hops, specialty crop marketing, hybrid hazelnut rooting, and consumption of microgreens and enriched sprouts in Native American Communities, among other topics. A list of funded projects is available online. ...

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that 11 members either newly joined or were reappointed to the 19-member Emerging Farmers' Working Group. This advisory group advises the MDA and Minnesota Legislature on ways to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses. Emerging Farmers are defined as women, veterans, persons with disabilities, American Indian/Alaskan Native, communities of color, young, and urban farmers. In 2021, the Legislature appropriated $150,000 to establish an Emerging Farmers Office and hire a full-time coordinator. This new coordinator will help ensure that anyone who...

In this episode, Tammy Howard, an agriculture specialist who works out of NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Regional Office in Butte, Montana, talks with two tribal food officials about their approach to sourcing food and selling it through their “mobile markets” in rural areas of Minnesota and Mississippi. They also discuss their approach to providing healthy, local food to tribal members. Zachary Paige is the coordinator of the White Earth Food Truck and facilitates the White Earth Food Sovereignty initiative of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Daphne Snow manages the Choctaw Fresh program’s five farms on the Mississippi Band...