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West Central Minnesota Counties Create Local Food Plan
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/18/2023

A five-year local food plan will bring together resources in Clay, Becker, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties to focus on local food systems.

Primary goals include increasing local food production, expanding access to healthy food and improving communication about about local food.

“We believe our role is to be connectors and educators because everybody's working in their own silos and they don't know what is out there,” said PartnerSHIP 4 Health manager Jason Bergstrand. “They don't realize that 40 miles down the road, there's somebody that has some expertise or a resource that they could tap that would make a big difference.”

Organizers say the goal is to lay the foundation for a strong local food system and start to break down barriers to expanding local food production. Limited access to land and capital often keeps small farmers on the sideline.

"Especially in the Fargo-Moorhead area there's a large immigrant community,” said Bergstrand. “And so many of those folks have come to our country with great skills in this area. But how would they get going if they don't have the capital?"

The initiative will help connect growers with federal and state resources and work at the community level to remove barriers such as land access.

Source: mprnews.org

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