Skip to main content

Posts

Minnesota improves support for emerging farmers and farm to school

December 2019: State improves support for emerging farmers and farm to school, save the date for national conference

Hello farm to school supporters, 

While this time of year can feel extra busy, it can also create space to slow down. We hope you are able to create space to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Farm to school is a strategy for food systems change. This change takes time and the results are not always immediate or obvious. During this season, we hope you make time to celebrate, learn and reflect on your work — both the successes and failures.

Enjoy this latest newsletter. If you have an idea for a future quarterly newsletter, please share it by emailing: farmtoschool@umn.edu

Minnesota’s Farm to School Leadership Team

Recent posts

Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s support of emerging farmers

Contributed by: Patrice Bailey, Minnesota Department of Agriculture 

As the MDA’s Assistant Commissioner in charge of outreach, I want to tell you why I think outreach is so important. With the stagnant farm economy, focusing our agency-wide outreach activities to farmers, ranchers and stakeholders who can benefit from our programs and services is more important than ever. Too often we hear, “I didn’t know you had a program that could help me.” And often that message is coming from underserved communities.


















It’s important that we listen to our stakeholders and act to address disparities when we hear about or see them. For example, if we hear that information is difficult to find on our website, we should examine ways to make those resources easier to find. It may seem small in the big scheme of things, and sure it takes time to make changes, but it also goes a long way in letting people know we heard their concern and we responded. We should also incorporate translation services into our…

New Farm to School Position at MDA!

Contributed by: Helen Schnoes, Minnesota Department of Agriculture 

Two farm to school policy wins were achieved in the 2019 legislative session as a result of the support and work of many of you - Minnesota’s farm to school and early care and education champions. 

Thanks to this leadership, the legislature granted funding to create a new, permanent position with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). That position, Regional Marketing Specialist, is now filled by Helen Schnoes. Helen has a passion for community engagement and advancing community and economic development through building healthy, sustainable local/regional food systems. With MDA she will focus on supporting Farm to School across Minnesota as well as other state ag and food business marketing efforts, including the wholesale directory with Minnesota Grown.

Helen, who grew up in Minneapolis, returned to Minnesota this fall. Most recently she worked on community food systems development in Lawrence, Kansas, in the La…

Save the date for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Plan to join hundreds of movement leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21–23, 2020! working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of healthy food and agricultural literacy across America. Registration opens in January. To learn more, go here. If you are interested and need financial support, email Stephanie Heim.