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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 Lawrence-Douglas County Sustainability Office. Over four and a half years, Helen served as staff liaison the local Food Policy Council, led the creation of the county’s award-winning Food System Plan, and supported a variety of community initiatives—from urban ag policy change and community garden program management, to collaborations with area farmers markets and Farm to School programs. Prior to moving to Kansas Helen helped found Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery business, and earned her Master’s of Regional Planning at Cornell University.

Helen sitting outdoors at a wooden table with multiple loaves of bread in front of her
Helen on her honeymoon in New Zealand earlier this year — at the hobbit hole for the bread baker in Hobbiton

Helen is excited to build relationships with partners across the state and learn more about the great energy and work currently underway in Minnesota. She has previously worked with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, Public Health Law Center and recently joined the board of directors for Renewing the Countryside.

Reach out and start a conversation! Whether it’s an invitation to a community event, setting up a one-on-one coffee, or just having an introductory phone call, email Helen to connect!
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