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 Food Initiative looking for farmers to sell locally.

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PostSubject: Food Initiative looking for farmers to sell locally.   Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:35 pm

Big Stone Lake Area Local Food Initiative

Looking for Farmers cowboy Interested in Selling Food Locally


8/11/09

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — Are you a Big Stone Lake area producer raising food for local consumers who would like to extend your reach into local markets. The Big Stone Lake Local Foods Group would like to hear from producers who are selling or are interested in selling directly to consumers and institutions or through retail stores and distributors. You can participate in a short survey by calling 1-877-328-9419 or e-mailing ttaylor@landstewardshipproject.org.

This summer the Big Stone Lake Local Foods Group is working to locate and talk to as many producers of local foods as possible as it works to develop local markets for their products and helps them build the capacity of the area’s local food system. Farmers and producers will be surveyed to find out what and how much they are raising, as well as where they are located, to help the Local Foods Group figure out how it can develop better markets.

"This short survey will be an easy way for local farmers to inform us about their interest in selling direct to consumers and developing local markets," said Mike Jorgenson, a Clinton, Minn., farmer and member of the Big Stone Lake Local Foods Group. "We want to cast a wide net and get in touch with as many farmers as possible who are marketing food directly to consumers, or who are interested in starting that type of farming enterprise."

“People want to buy locally produced food to not only support our local farmers but to get the freshest and most nutritious food that they can,” said Bette Johnson, an Ortonville, Minn., apple producer. “Buying local not only supports the farmer but helps to build and support our entire rural community.“

The Local Foods Group’s research has already shown that there is real opportunity for area farmers who want to grow food for local markets. In a survey conducted recently by the group at the Big Stone County Fair, 86 percent of the respondents said buying locally is important to them. The fair survey also found that a substantial number of Big Stone County residents are leaving the county to purchase food on a regular basis.

The Big Stone Lake Local Foods Group, in partnership with Land Stewardship Project, University of Minnesota Extension, the University of Minnesota’s West Central Partnership and Crossroads Resource Center, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota as part of Prevention Minnesota, are conducting a community food assessment to better understand the local foods environment, improve everyone’s access to healthy food, and to advance the production of fresh, locally raised produce.
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