Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is proud to partner with the Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) to expand small and mid-sized agricultural food and supply chains in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Twelve organizations, including R5DC, have been selected by USDA to establish Regional Food Centers that will provide coordination, technical assistance and capacity building to help farmers, ranchers and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources.
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to build on multi-state assets, honor our environmental stewardship commitments and serve the agricultural economy with an intentional focus on underserved small to mid-sized food value-chain businesses,” said R5DC Executive Director Cheryal Hills. “The group of partners who have come together to make this happen is a dream team, and we are grateful for this incredible investment to strengthen food businesses in the north central U.S. three-state region.”
Known as the “MiNKota RFBC,” the center will focus on the development of critical infrastructure for small and mid-sized livestock processing, fruit and vegetable processing, warehouse space and storage options.
“MFU believes in rural communities and is proud to support efforts to help family farmers and rural communities grow and prosper,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “In the early days of the pandemic, we realized the importance of a strong, local foodshed. This project will help support and develop local food processing, a critical link between family farmers and consumers. In addition, by creating a more robust local food processing network, family farmers and rural communities will capture more of the food dollar.”