University of Minnesota Extension is focusing on the economics of small vegetable farms in Central Minnesota and is looking for study participants. During February and March a team of extension educators will collect the farm finances of produce growers and market gardeners to both assist growers with business planning and measure the economic impact of small farms and the food hub SPROUT in the region.
The project promises to shed light on the economic health of small-scale vegetable operations which have blossomed with the increased consumer interest in local foods. A great deal is known about the finances and profitability of traditional commodities in Minnesota, which allows for rich benchmarking and comparisons. This is not the case with small vegetable operations.
University of Minnesota Extension is seeking 10 farms which grown 0-3 acres of vegetables and 10 farms which grow between 4-12 acres of vegetables to participate. Farm operators should have detailed and reliable records they are willing to share (all records will remain confidential).
In return, participating farms will receive benchmarks to assist their farm business and a $75 gift card. Contact Ryan Pesch, Extension Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-770-4398 for details.
This project is a partnership of the University of Minnesota Extension with SPROUT food hub, SFA Central Chapter, Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and the Minnesota Farmers Market Association.