Minnesota network of farm and food systems expresses gratitude to USDA for support of strengthening community storytelling and civic engagement
Minneapolis—The MinneAg Network is pleased to announce its selection as one of the recipients of the 2023 Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) grant, presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. The grant brings national recognition to the important local efforts of the network and provides financial support for the network’s goals of convening leaders on sustainable agriculture and championing nonpartisan policy solutions that protect communities, farmers and environment.
The USDA RFSP grant program funds the development of relationships between community organizations, businesses, institutions and governments to develop local and regional food systems. MinneAg is among 10 projects from across the country to receive the 2023 award.
Over the next two years, MinneAg will convene diverse farm and food systems stakeholders from across Minnesota to build relationships across organizations and the state. In addition, MinneAg will develop resources to encourage stakeholder civic engagement; Clear, multilingual, actionable resources will support a wider group of individuals to engage and offer representation for emerging, small and mid-size farmers in Minnesota’s decision-making spaces. Lastly, the grant will support efforts to boost community storytelling as a tool for education and advocacy.
“MinneAg is thrilled to have been named one of 10 recipients of the RFSP grant, and the support is a welcome boost for our network’s capacity,” says Erin McKee, director of community food systems at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and one of MinneAg’s coordinators, along with Land Stewardship Project, MN 350 and MN Farmers Union. “The funding will build on MinneAg's initial success, providing key communications support to highlight priorities, provide educational resources and engagement opportunities, and work toward a food system that is more equitable and better reflects the needs of all of Minnesota’s communities.”
“It can feel hard to have a seat at the table where decisions are being made for food, agriculture and our communities, and the resources MinneAg plans to create with this support will build up more leaders and community members to develop their own leadership and lift their voice up for decisions that will affect them,” says Laura Schreiber, co-coordinator of MinneAg and policy organizer at Land Stewardship Project.
The MinneAg Network expresses gratitude to the USDA for this opportunity, which will enable the network to continue to advocate for agricultural programs that nourish people and the planet in Minnesota.
About MinneAg Network:
A network of community-rooted food systems leaders and organizations, MinneAg prioritizes agricultural practices that nourish people and the planet. To learn more, visit: www.minneag.org.