Local Foods Information and Update, Minnesota

Tom Cherveny reported in today’s West Central Tribune (Willmar, Minn.) that, “[Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack] spoke Tuesday at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall at the third annual Home Grown Economy conference hosted by U.S. Collin Peterson, D-Minn. “The local foods movement has the attention and the support of the federal government today, according to Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. “It’s simple, according to Peterson: There is a market for local foods, and agriculture stands to gain jobs and income by serving it. “At the same time, he emphasized that there ‘is room for everybody in agriculture.’ The expansion of a local foods economy can occur alongside of — and not at the expense of — commodity-based agriculture.”

Anthony Kiekow reported earlier this week at KSAX Online (Minn.) that, “U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack attended a ‘Homegrown Economy’ event at Southwest Minnesota Sate University in Marshall Monday.“At the event the powerful political pair conversed with local farmers about selling locally grown food to Minnesotans.

“‘Whenever something is grown in the same area it’s bought it’s always fresher. That’s just common sense,’ Peterson said.” (Note that this link includes a video replay highlighting Chairman Peterson and Sec. Vilsack in Marshall).

Deb Gau reported yesterday at The Marshall Independent Online (Minn.) that, “They may need some initial help to develop a connection with consumers, but small farms can make a difference in the rural economy, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Monday.“‘The reality is we need all kinds of farms in this country,’ Vilsack said, from small organic farms to large commercial farms.

“The main challenge will be helping small farmers open connections for local customers, Vilsack and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said. Vilsack and Peterson arrived in Marshall Monday for the Home Grown Economy conference held at Southwest Minnesota State University.”

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