Governor Dayton and his administration are always looking for ways to help farms and businesses prosper in Minnesota. One of the simple but really effective tools the Minnesota Department of Agriculture makes available is a Directory of Minnesota Organic Farms.
It’s clear that organic food has gone beyond fad to a mainstream choice for many consumers, and we want to help Minnesota’s organic farms and food companies capitalize on this interest. Organic food (and even organic feed for animals) must contain organic ingredients and here in Minnesota we grow a lot of these ingredients. Our 700+ organic farms raise organic corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye, flax, soybeans, sunflowers, milk, eggs, beef, eggs, chickens, fruits and vegetables, and just about anything else you can think of. To make it easier for Minnesota’s organic food companies to use organic ingredients in their products, the Directory of Minnesota Organic Farms was created. It lists farmers who sell in quantity to “intermediate buyers” such as food companies, restaurants, grocery stores, brokers, etc. The buyers can look up the farmer by product (“blue corn” for example), or by county, if they are looking for farmers close to their manufacturing facility or store. The directory is available in print and online at www.mda.state.mn.us/organicGovernor Dayton’s team also knows how much individuals and families in Minnesota enjoy buying farm fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products directly from the growers at roadside stands and farmers markets. For them, we list lots of organic farms in the consumer-friendly Minnesota Grown Directory www.minnesotagrown.com. It is available in a booklet for families to keep in the glove box, and online for those who want to do their searching/mapping on the web. A new mobile Minnesota Grown app is in development (but not a lot of people know this yet because we just got some funds to make it possible from a USDA Specialty Crop program!)