Based in St. Paul, our mission is to enhance Minnesotans' quality of life by ensuring the integrity of our food supply, the health of our environment, and the strength of our agricultural economy. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has existed in one form or another for more than 100 years. During that time, the state has changed from a mostly rural society with an economy based on agriculture and mining to a multifaceted state dominated by a world-class metropolitan area. As the state has changed, so has our department.
Our three general areas of responsibility include:
MDA services start before the crop even goes into the ground. We help ensure that farmers have quality seed, fertilizer, pesticides and animal feed so that the final product is also high quality. The MDA also provides a long list of services targeted directly to Minnesota farmers. These services include risk-management education, organic and sustainable ag technical support and dairy and livestock development support.
We continue our service after the plants and animals leave the farm. In the processing and distribution segments of the food chain, we perform duties such as dairy and food processing facility inspections and international market development. Our service delivery concludes at the consumer level with services such as consumer food safety education, ag chemical spill response, and grocery store inspections.
Our 450 employees strive to meet these obligations effectively and efficiently, all the while maintaining a special working relationship with stakeholders. As we move deeper into the 21st century, our intent is to continue looking for opportunities to help the state's agricultural sector adapt and thrive in the global marketplace. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide a consistently high level of service and protection to all those who grow, process and consume Minnesota-grown foods.