Minnesotans interested in making it easier for new and emerging farmers to create or sustain an agricultural business are encouraged to apply to join a legislatively created emerging farmers’ working group through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

“Minnesota has a vibrant farming economy and community, but we know that some new farmers – especially women, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, young people and veterans – face difficult barriers when entering the field,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “By supporting emerging farmers, we are eliminating barriers to entry to agriculture, building a stronger agricultural economy and broadening the future of farming in Minnesota.”

Interested people are able to apply by Oct. 2, 2020 to serve on the working group, which will have 15-20 members and will meet on a regular basis, beginning in November.

The working group was created as a result of six listening sessions throughout Minnesota in Fall 2019 convened by the MDA.

The aim was to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses, including immigrant farmers and farmers of color.

The findings of those listening sessions were compiled in a legislative report, which recommended creation of a working group to provide guidance to Thom Petersen, state agriculture commissioner on developing programs and initiatives to support emerging farmers in Minnesota.

Anyone is eligible to apply.

The priority areas for membership include:

• Women

• Veterans

• Persons with a disability/disabilities

• American Indian/Alaska Native

• Communities of color

• Young

• Urban

To apply to serve or for more information on the program, visit the MDA web site at www.mda.state.mn.us/.