Why do we collect data from produce farms?
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Produce Safety Program collects data that will assist in building a produce farm inventory database. This database is required as part of a cooperative agreement between MDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
We collect farm information through our annual Grower Questionnaire to help farms understand if they must follow any requirements under the rule. Participation in the questionnaire is voluntary, though farmers who opt out will be contacted by the MDA via email, phone, or in person to identify their farm status. Your contact information and location of your farm operation is classified as private or nonpublic data under the Minnesota Statues Section 13.643 and will be accessible only to those employees at the MDA, or the MDA's contractors, who have a valid work assignment that requires access. Based on our agencies' data retention schedule, if your farm goes out of business, we maintain your data for three years at which point it is destroyed.