Member Update

 
February 2017                                                                 www.minnesotagrown.com
                                                                         

Meet Kristin!  
 
KristinLiepold
Minnesota Grown has welcomed another talented student worker to our team! Kristin Liepold is a University of Minnesota undergraduate studying Agriculture Communication and
Marketing and Animal Science. Her focus is public relations and crisis communication of livestock entities, specifically the pork industry. Kristin is heavily involved on campus with clubs, a sorority and with the Agriculture Future of America organization.   
 
2017 Renewal Season: Directory Closing Soon  

The printed Directory is about ready to close for final editing and printing. are you included? An easy way to verify is to find your detailed listing on www.minnesotagrown.com. If you see your listing - you will be in print! Please read over your listing, paying special attention to dates, hours and contact information. Let Jessica know immediately if you have changes by emailing her. Please include your farm/business name and license number, if you have it.

If you do not see your listing online, please email Jessica right away. If you have not paid, online renewal is still open. You will need your license number and your unique renewal PIN, which can be found on your printed renewal form (mailed to you) and in a few emails that were sent to you. You can use this pin to renew your license and listing online here. If you need your PIN or want to verify your payment/application, please email Jessica or call (651-201-6170).   
 
Calling all Garden Centers, CSA Farms & Farmers Markets!

Learn about your customers for FREE with Minnesota Grown's Consumer Surveys
 
Reach more customers and bring your marketing to the next level. Minnesota Grown is doing three free customer research projects this spring and summer: 1. Garden Centers, 2. Farmers Markets, and 3. CSA Farms. If your farm or business qualifies in one of those three categories, we need you! The more farms/businesses that participate in each study, the better the study will be.
 
What We'll Do:
Minnesota Grown has grant funding to help Minnesota farms/markets market themselves better.  We'll survey your customers and then give you the information and some suggestions for further marketing strategies.
  • Create an online survey for your farm/business
  • Print cards prompting your customers to participate
  • Collect the data
  • Create a confidential report for your business
  • Aggregate the results of all farms in each project, so you can compare your business to the industry standard
What You Do:
  • Distribute the cards we provide to you by handing one to each customer this year (Garden Centers), in a few of your CSA boxes, or at your market.
  • Contribute one $25 gift certificate. This will be given to one of your customers as incentive to complete the survey.
  • That's it!
Sign up today! We're looking for Garden Centers, CSA Farms, and Farmers Markets to participate. Interested? Tell us YES! Email Tessa or call at 651-201-6140.  
 
2016 Christmas Tree Consumer Survey 

Results will be presented Friday, March 10th, 2017  
 
We're looking forward to seeing you at this year's Minnesota Christmas Tree Association Winter Meeting on March 10th at the Double Tree in Bloomington! We will be presenting the results of our Christmas tree consumer research project completed this past year. We're very grateful to the 40 Christmas tree farms and retail lots that participated in the study. In total, we received 471 completed surveys from Minnesota Christmas tree customers. SampleSurveyCard
 
Stay tuned and attend our session to learn what your customers are saying about you! We'll be presenting on variety preferences, how customers found your farm, how much they spent, and much more! This presentation will be the first public look at the data we collected. Participating farms will receive confidential business reports in the near future and an aggregated industry report will be available online in the Members + Retailers Section of www.minnesotagrown.com later this year.
   

Opportunities You Can't Miss...  

Minneapolis Public Schools are Seeking Farm to School Produce/Partner Farms - Intent to Submit form is due by Wednesday, February 15 at 4p, and final RFP responses are due by Monday, February 27 at 2p. MPS looking for small and mid-sized growers who are committed to sustainable practices to provide a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for our school meals. More information about our Farm to School program and current partner farms can be found on their website here. 
 
Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Northeast Organic Consumers Association: Deep Winter Greenhouse Public Open House - Saturday, February 18, from 1-4p. Finland. The event is free, but registration is required. Visit a deep winter greenhouse with the U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships to learn more about their work with producers and community groups throughout Minnesota to field test a prototype design of a passive solar greenhouse that enables farmers to produce crops all winter long. Click here to see the flyer and learn how to register.

28th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference - Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25 in La Crosse, WI. Keynote speakers are Mas Masumoto, a certified organic farmer, author and columnist, and Liz Carlisle, an instructor at Stanford University and author of Lentil Underground. Innovative farmers and ag professionals will present 65 workshops offering practical information about field crops, livestock, dairy, vegetables and specialty crops. Additional workshops will focus on soil health, farming issues, and strategies to help farmers manage and grow their business. The conference also features a two-floor exhibit hall with more than 170 exhibitors.  For more information or to register, click here
 
University of Minnesota Extension's Cover Crop Workshops - Tuesday, February 28 in St. Charles and Thursday, March 2 in Owatonna. Learn about inter-seeding, residual herbicide management and integrating cover crops with manure. For more information and speakers, click here. 
 
Rural Advantage's 3rd Crop Producer Meeting - Monday, February 27 (Small Fruits & Nuts), Monday, March 13 (Homesteading) or Monday, March 20 (Emerging Crops) in Fairmont. All events are free. Click here to view the flyer and learn more. 
 
Minnesota Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program Value Added Grant Applications Open - Applications due by Monday, March 6 at 4p. This grant can help a farmer or other new or established business entity take the next step in their food safety or business plan in developing value-added agriculture. The goal of the Value Added Grant Program is to increase the sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, expanding access to markets and increasing food safety of value-added products. Click here to learn more about eligible projects and applicants.  Click here to download the application.   
 
University of Minnesota: Outwintering Field Day - Thursday, March 9 from 10:30a-2p; Morris.  The event is free and you may register at the door. Morris. The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) researches various outwintering options and the effect on herd health and comfort. Join the tours of the out-wintered dairy herd at the WCROC, organic milking cows, and breeding and young stock living in three different pasture areas. Animal well-being and pasture use will also be discussed. Click here for more information.

University of Minnesota Extension - Lambing Management Workshop - Saturday, March 11 from 9a-3:30p; St. Paul Campus. Fee is charged, pre-registration required.  This workshop is designed for the person who is interested but with no experience raising sheep, or who already has a few sheep but wants to improve management skills. Click here for more information and how to register.

Minnesota Farmers Market Association's Spring Conference & Annual Meeting- Tuesday, March 21, 8a-4p; Monticello. The conference will feature a full day of workshops that offer in-depth training and insight, opportunities for networking, exciting keynote and closing speakers and delicious locally sourced food.  Click here for more details.  

University of Minnesota Extension's Farmers Market Gathering - Wednesday, March 8, 9:30a-3:30p. A one-day conference for market managers and vendors with speakers from the MN Farmers Market Association and our own MN Grown staff! Topics include consumer surveys, Cottage Food Law, best practices for your vendors and more. Conference is held at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Click here for the flyer and to learn more.

New Farmers Market in Prior Lake is Seeking Vendors - The market runs min-Jun through Oct, Thursdays from 4-7p at the Prior Lake VFW. Currently looking for vendors selling honey, canned goods and more. Contact Colleen Callahan (651-238-8916) for more information.   


Promote Your Business with Minnesota Grown 

Would you like to be promoted to Minnesota Grown's 28,000+ Facebook followers and 13,000+ receiving our Pick of the Month Newsletter? Minnesota Grown would love to promote you! We'll make it easy for you...and free!

We're looking for submissions from our members to use in our Pick of the Month Newsletter and Facebook posts. Submission suggestions:
  • Pictures
  • Recipes using your produce/product
  • Cooking tips for your produce/product
  • Farm events
  • Videos
These are just a few ideas, so feel free to submit something not listed here! Your submissions will be credited to you with a link to your listing, Facebook, or website.

If you are interested it submitting something, please send them via email to Kristin with your name and the name of your farm/business. Once your submission is received, we will be in touch to discuss how it can be used and may also ask a couple follow-up questions to provide context or quotes to accompany the submission.

If you'd like clarification on what to submit, how your submission will be used, or other questions regarding submissions, just email Kristin.

We are also looking for guest writers! Do you enjoy writing, or run a personal farm blog? Would you be interested in contributing to our newsletter as a guest writer? Email Kristin and we can discuss featuring you in a future issue!

At Minnesota Grown, our priority is linking our members to local consumers and promoting the diverse, exceptional products Minnesota has to offer. We want to help you share your expertise and experience with people across the state who want to connect with their local farmers!


Are you hosting any public events? 
 
We'd love to help spread the word!
Send us your events via email or submit them online here.




They'll show up on our Minnesota Grown calendar webpage: our events calendar got over 14,000 views last year! Take full advantage of your membership by sending us your events so we can promote them online. As an added bonus, we frequently promote member events on the Minnesota Grown Facebook page too!  

There will be a slight change in look and the "from" address will change in the next Member Update. The new sender will be: MinnesotaGrown@public.govdelivery.com. When we make this change, you will also no longer be able to hit "reply" to email us. You will see plenty of hotlinks throughout the newsletter and also contact information at the bottom. Depending on your email provider and filters, you may find it in a different folder. If this is so, you should be able to "trust sender" and alter its location.   
Minnesota Grown Staff Directory

  
PAUL HUGUNIN
Program Coordinator
651-201-6510
RUTH WHITE
Farmers Markets
ruth.white@state.mn.us
651-201-6494.
TESSA GANSER
Consumer Research & Website
tessa.ganser@state.mn.us
651-201-6140
KRISTIN LIEPOLD
Student Worker
kristin.liepold@state.mn.us
651-201-6469
JESSICA MILES
Member Services
651-201-6170