Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2022

Complete the agriculture census by February 6th

The USDA census of agriculture occurs every 5 years, and it is underway now through February. The census is mean to be a complete count of farms and ranches in the United States. It informs funding allocations, research, and agriculture policy. Any grower who grew $1,000 or more of fruit, vegetables, or food animals, or who would have done so in a normal year is eligible to complete the census. If you have not yet filled it out, you can complete the census online at .  Learn more about the ag census at .  Here are some ways that our team has used the census:  Estimating the number of growers that we should be reaching, which helps us to determine whether we are truly meeting the needs of all fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota vs. just a subset of those growers Using census data to help us determine research priorities. For example, we have seen the number of high tunnels climb substantially with each new ag census, which tells us tha

FSMA Produce Safety Rule trainings - registration open for winter 2022/23

  Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety Do you grow fruits and vegetables for sale or donation to others? Join the University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and experienced fruit and vegetable growers for these 100% virtual FSMA Produce Safety Rule Grower Trainings.  Who should participate?  This training course is for produce growers and those interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. If your farm is not excluded or exempt from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, at least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must complete a training that uses FDA-recognized curriculum or equivalent. This course will satisfy this requirement.  (Read more here  to learn whether or not your farm is covered by the Produce Safety Rule.)  Dates:  Jan 26, 2023 in-person: 8:45am - 5:00pm (lunch included) Minnesota Farmers

Connect with our team at winter conferences

Our team will be attending many grower conferences this winter. We love to connect with growers at these events and hear about your ideas, successes, challenges, and questions. If you’re planning to attend any of these events, please feel free to say hello! This article is a list of some of the places you can find us this winter, and presentations we’ll be giving at various conferences. Minnesota Apple Growers Association Winter Conference, LaCrescent, January 4-5 All apple orchard owners and managers are encouraged to attend the Minnesota Apple Growers Association Winter Conference. Annie will be attending and giving two presentations at this conference. Educational sessions will cover a variety of topics from orchard labor management to pest management. The agenda includes many discussions led by experienced apple growers. Tips for Managing Newer UMN Apple Varieties Basics of Apple Chemical Thinning   Minnesota Organic Conference, St. Cloud, January 5-6 While the Minnesota Organic Co

New MDA grant program for farm downpayment assistance

Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Rural Finance Authority (RFA) is offering matching funds up to $15,000 for qualified farmers to purchase their first farm. Funding will be available using a first-come, first-served application process. Who is eligible? Individual (LLCs, partnerships, non-profits, and other businesses not eligible) Minnesota resident Earn less than $250,000 annually in gross agricultural sales First time owning farmland Will provide the majority of labor and management on the farm Will farm the land for at least 5 years You can learn more about the program on MDA's website. MDA is also hosting two informational webinars. Interpretation will be available in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. RFA is happy to provide additional interpretation if requested one week before each webinar. Please send requests and other questions to or 651-201-6316 Tuesday, December 6, 2-3 p.m. Join Zoom Meeting: Meeting ID: 813 17