May 11, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is recruiting small food and beverage makers who would benefit from 1:1 technical assistance to support their e-commerce and digital marketing strategies, as well as trainers to execute the program.

The MDA’s New Markets Program is adding this assistance for food and beverage makers to its cost sharing support for high-impact marketing activities such as e-commerce, store merchandising, tradeshows, and store demonstrations.

The MDA is hoping to position our small food and beverage makers for growth by pairing them with a consultant who can help them with e-commerce and digital marketing strategy.

 “Considering the broad consumer shift to e-commerce and the growing importance of digital marketing, the MDA believes this new support will be an effective investment,” Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey said. “It will support business development in our food sector.”

The number of food companies invited to participate will be determined as MDA works through the grant applications. Food and beverage makers who want to participate can reach out to Program Manager Brian Erickson at

The MDA is also seeking entities to execute the training. The selected trainer will be expected to document the support provided, resulting in case studies that detail the e-commerce and digital strategy of different types of companies. These reports will be posted on the MDA’s website to help educate a larger number of Minnesota companies, including farms that sell value-added products.

The MDA anticipates awarding up to $70,000 total to one or more trainers, using a competitive review process. Requirements are detailed in this request for proposals. Applications must be submitted through our online application system and must be received by 4 p.m. on June 1, 2021 to be considered.


Media Contact
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications