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Project coordinator Nancy Bratrud of Lanesboro says, “It's not innovative just to try to figure out how to haul more food from Southeast Minnesota to Twin Cities markets. That's exploring a new market - which we're not averse to doing, as long as we're selling our surplus - but it's not changing the food system. We want to focus on regional stability, the money that circulates here. We want to bring the producer and the consumer into a face-to-face relationship.”
As the original owner of Mrs. B's B&B in Lanesboro, Bratrud put her ethic to use in preparing locally raised food for her customers. She purchased meat from farmer Terry Huckstadt of Chatfield, and vegetables from local growers such as Paul Gardner in Lanesboro, and Master GardenerVirginia Baker of Wykoff.
The authors of "Finding Food in Farm Country" are Ken Meter, president of Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis and faculty member at Metropolitan State University and Jon Rosales, Research Fellow for the Institute for Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Minnesota.
Using existing data, they looked at the region's economy from the viewpoint of the region itself and found that area farmers sold $866 million of farm products in 1997, but spent $947 million raising this food, almost half ($400 million) of which was spent on services, products and loans from suppliers and creditors outside the area. At the same time, area residents spent $506 million buying .....
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