ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Grown Program reached its 1,000 member milestone today with a celebration at Hidden Valley Produce farm near Mazeppa. Minnesota Grown has been growing in popularity and importance with an average of 45 new members annually since licensing began in 1989.
"Today's consumers are much more interested in knowing where their food comes from and the Minnesota Grown program is the best way to link those consumers with producers like me," says Terry Gullickson, owner of Hidden Valley Produce. "It's an affordable program with great marketing tools - in particular the Minnesota Grown Directory."
Minnesota Grown is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and members who grow or raise specialty crops and livestock. MDA Assistant Commissioner Robin Kinney says consumers are now accustomed to looking for the trademarked Minnesota Grown logo.
"The Minnesota Grown label gives consumers the reassurance that the food they're buying is truly locally grown," Kinney says. "We're proud to work with such a great group of producers who provide a wide variety of fresh, home-grown foods for Minnesota residents."
Minnesota Grown members include farmers' markets, CSA farms, garden centers, wineries, fruit & vegetable growers, pick-your-own farms, livestock producers, meat processors, Christmas tree growers, and producers of honey, wild rice, maple syrup, cheese, and other gourmet products.
For more information about Minnesota Grown, visit the program website at www.minnesotagrown.com.