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Area farmers’ markets promote local in southeast Minnesota/northeast Iowa


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

Shop local. Dine local. Buy local. The energy behind the movement of supporting what’s in our own backyards is massive and it doesn’t appear to be slowing any time soon. Americans are tired of not knowing what’s in a product or where it comes from, the high costs of transporting goods, and what they’re doing to our bodies, economy, and communities. Small farms, direct-marketing, craft and farmers’ markets have sprung up all over the country, filling the need. In southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa, the markets are wide open.

Tables and booths, tents and pickup trucks all filled with attractive displays now fill our towns, both big and small. Offering items such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, wild edibles, mushrooms, nuts, honey, maple syrup, grains, eggs, canned and baked goods, and availability to direct-market meats and dairy, these markets literally have something for everyone. Many have extended beyond food items and include crafts of all sorts, fine arts, jewelry, garden and home décor, personal care items, pet goods, fiber and yarn, knitted, crocheted, and sewn items, clothing, and more.

There are only a handful of communities within the area that don’t have their own market, but some communities have amazing markets that are just undiscovered by residents and tourists. The Houston Farmers’ Market has seen some growth over the last eight years since its founding. Market manager Twaila Thorson is thrilled and thinks small town markets like Houston’s are a great thing in the community, supporting local growers and keeping the economy thriving and the money right in our own towns.

“So many people come too,” enthuses Thorson. “It’s great! They don’t have to drive to the big towns to get great, fresh produce and they know they’re getting a good quality product.”

Markets can also be an opportunity for unique food and art items that might otherwise get missed. In Houston, Staven Family Farm gets the chance to offer up homegrown oats, wheat, rye, and buckwheat. The family, farming for over 30 years, used to grow the conventional corn, soybean, alfalfa rotation, along with operating a dairy farm, but downsized. Looking for a something different, the Staven’s opted to grow a variety of grains, sweet corn, and vegetables.

“My daughter sort of pushed me along,” says Mark Staven. “Now, we’re in our fourth year at the market. The area needs something l .....
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Farmers’ Market season just weeks away

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Agriculture

It may be hard to tell, given the dismal start to spring and winter’s icy grip on our area, but local farmers’ markets are just weeks away from opening. Market organizers are working to bring in vendors of all sorts and customers are equally as e ..... 
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MILC program extended and start month revisions

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in Preston Agriculture

PRESTON, Minn. - Tammy Martin, County Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Fillmore County announced that the 2014 Farm Bill extended the MILC program until September 1, 2014, or until the date on which the new Dairy Margin Protecti ..... 
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Beef council’s referendum voted down by producers - Minnesota beef producers decline fee increase

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s beef producers have rejected the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council’s proposed referendum asking for an increase in check-off dollars. Sixty-three percent of the 1,525 voting producers voted against the ..... 
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Pork checkoff leaders finding new opportunities in South America - Board members meet with farmers and trade leaders to address global challenges and expand markets for U.S. pork

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

PRESTON, Minn. – Examining emerging market opportunities and creating new partnerships to tackle global challenges was the focus of a recent study mission conducted by the 15 farmer-directors of the National Pork Board during a week-long tour of Br ..... 
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Fillmore County Dairy Princess crowned

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

The Fillmore County American Dairy Association held a Dairy Princess and Ambassador Recognition on March 30 in the afternoon at the Fillmore County Extension Office in Preston. During the recognition Melinda Woods was crowned the 2014 Fillmore Count ..... 
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Spring Cover Crop Field Day April 17 near Preston

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

The benefits of cover crops are becoming more apparent as more farmers use them. A field day will be held Thursday, April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Josh Simon farm south of Preston to discuss these many benefits. The cover crop field day is located 8 mi ..... 
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In partnership with farmers, Extension helps shape our nation

Thu, Mar 27th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

By Bev Durgan, University of MN Extension The theme of this year’s National Agriculture Day – “365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed” – carries a significant message. We all need farmers for our survival. Today, each U.S. farmer fe ..... 
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Farmers and ranchers will celebrate National Ag Day on March 25

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

USDA Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Debra Crusoe encourages everyone to take a moment to appreciate the hard working farmers and ranchers in Minnesota on March 25, National Ag Day. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: 365 ..... 
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