Minnesota ranks fifth in the nation for agriculture production and plays a key role in feeding the country, but more information is needed on our local and regional food systems.
A bill heard in the Agriculture Committee would spend $10,000 on a study into our local and regional food systems. Supported by the Minnesota Farmers Market Association, the Minnesota Farmers Union, and others, the study would let the Department of Agriculture catalogue the important contributions our farmers make to Minnesota and help direct the Legislature in determining where further investments to support our food systems are need.
By researching the local and regional food systems in the state, the Department of Agriculture can identify strengths and respond to weaknesses and further resilience in the state’s farm economy. This work requires support from consumers, supply chains, the Legislature, and agricultural stakeholders. The study is a strong step in connecting all these groups in the work to build on our food systems.
The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an agriculture omnibus bill, which the Chair has suggested could be heard in committee next week. (SF 4184)