In 2023, the Partnership used the data from the three surveys to identify priorities and strategies for supporting local and regional market development in Minnesota.

The Partnership sees consistent and representative data about Minnesota’s local and regional food systems as a steppingstone in building out data-informed programs that support small, mid-sized, and emerging farmers as well as greater market access to local foods.

Framework for local and regional market development

The Partnership identified the following seven priority areas and twenty data-informed strategies for how to strengthen local and regional markets and provide better support to Minnesota farmers, including historically underrepresented and under-supported farmers.

Procedural equity and inclusion is foundational to local and regional market development in Minnesota.

Throughout this project, partners and stakeholders emphasized the importance for procedural equity to be embedded in each of the priority areas, and in every step of the work. Our data-informed strategies represent how we can engage, serve, collaborate, and invest in ways that prioritize and advance equity and inclusion in Minnesota’s markets and food system.

Relationship building with tribal nations, producers, and communities is needed to ensure that food systems development equitably serves all Minnesotans while supporting tribal food sovereignty.


  1. Build relationships with tribal nations to support future partnerships and collaboration, and ensure tribal perspectives are incorporated into local and regional market development.
  2. Engage with tribal leaders to learn if and how the MDA can support or assist in data collection, led by or conducted in partnership with tribal nations.


  1. Dedicate funding for contracts with tribal nations and community organizations — including specific funding for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color)-led organizations — to support equitable outreach and engagement.
  2. Educate consumers on the value of local food and where to get it.
  3. Provide more technical assistance, training, and information for emerging farmers that are culturally appropriate and offered in multiple languages.
  4. Expand food safety services and audits that meet the needs of small, mid-sized, and emerging producers.


  1. Equitably invest in small, mid-sized, and emerging farmers through grants, loans, cost-shares, etc.
  2. Advocate for an insurance safety net for local food producers.
  3. Prioritize strategies, such as incentives, for increasing procurement and consumption of local food.


  1. Identify and invest in ways to collect supplemental data every few years that is needed to support local and regional market development in Minnesota.
  2. Collaborate with USDA to increase producer participation in the Census of Agriculture.
  3. Provide up-to-date market data (price, cost of production, etc.) for local food producers.


  1. Invest in built infrastructure that will expand the capacity to aggregate, distribute, and sell local food in communities, such as at farmers’ markets.
  2. Increase reach and impact of Minnesota Grown program to build demand for local food/agricultural products and help producers connect with buyers.
  3. Sustain and expand programming aimed at getting more local food into institutions, retail stores, regional distributors, and places where consumers already shop.
  4. Sustain and grow programs that provide farmland access services.


  1. Call for more collaboration within and between state agencies and local governments to address local food issues at a systems level.
  2. Expand opportunities for farmer-to-farmer networking and information sharing.
  3. Continue to convene the Statewide Cooperative Partnership for Local and Regional Markets as a space for building relationships, coordinating efforts, and tracking progress.

The seven priority areas and related strategies were developed based on themes and ideas generated at the Statewide Cooperative Partnership’s data party and workshop in February 2022 and a public webinar series in May 2023.

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