Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

West Broadway Coalition to lead North Minneapolis Mini Farmer Market Network

Published July 30, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) has selected the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) to serve as one of four organizations to assume leadership of IATP’s network of mini farmers markets in Minneapolis.

WBC will lead a network of three mini farmers markets starting in 2012: Camden Farmers Market, St. Olaf Community Campus Farmers Market and Heritage Commons Farmers Market. Camden is the oldest mini farmers market in the area and is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2012.

The Mini Farmers Market Network has become an integral part of the local food system in Minneapolis. With support from the City of Minneapolis, IATP developed and launched the network in 2006 as a way to improve access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods across the city. Each market is hosted and managed by a community organization.

“We are thrilled to have the West Broadway Coalition as a Mini Farmers Market Network leader,” says JoAnne Berkenkamp, director of the Local Foods program at IATP. “They bring farmers market expertise, extensive community connections, and the capacity to make a real difference in the community they serve.”

Since the project’s inception, more than 20 organizations have hosted mini markets. Most markets are open one day a week throughout the summer. Nearly all of the markets accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers.

Since 2006, IATP has assisted the markets with city and state regulatory processes, promotional support, evaluation, recruitment of farmers to sell at the markets and other services. Beginning in mid-2012, the West Broadway Coalition will provide technical assistance to the three markets under their purview.

“The West Broadway Coalition is excited to be chosen by IATP to take on the important work of coordinating mini markets throughout the north side” said Erin Jerabek, WBC executive director.

“This new opportunity will position the North Minneapolis farmers markets to work together in a collaborative way,” said Alicia Uzarek, WBC’s farmers market manager. The coalition’s goals for the first year include extending the West Broadway Farmers Market EBT system so that all North Minneapolis farmers markets can accept food support benefits and jointly advertise throughout the area.

The other organizations selected to serve as Mini Farmers Market Network leaders in other parts of Minneapolis are Minnesota FoodShare (a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches), Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market and Kingfield Farmers Market.

This project is sponsored in part by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.


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