Name of Organization: Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
Address 411 Borlaug Hall 1991 Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone Number 1-800-909-6472
Goal or mission of organization "... to bring together the diverse interests of the agricultural community with interests from across the University community in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond." -- Local and regional food systems are part of MISA's focus, as a way to build markets for diverse agriculture.
Clientele served Farmers; Extension educators; University faculty, staff, and students; staff and members of non-profit organizations involved in sustainable agriculture and local food systems.
Geographic area served All of Minnesota; but we work most often with partner organizations that include the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships in 5 regions, including northeast (Cloquet) and central (Staples); and Sustainable Farming Association with 9 statewide chapters, including Lake Superior chapter (Carlton) and Central (St. Cloud)
Current state of program We have several publications that support local food system development: "Local Food: Where to Find It, How to Buy It;" "Marketing Local Food;" and a series of fact sheets on local food regulations (written by MDA with input from MISA and others). We co-sponsor conferences and workshops that deal with local food systems, and provide assistance to other groups that are doing workshops, field days, or other types of training around local food.
Capacity for local food work - Shared staff and office space with Minnesota SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), which has funding to support several focus areas including local food systems.
- Access to University faculty and staff with expertise in various aspects of food systems
- Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems program that provides special project funds to individuals; funds are available and applications are taken on a 2-year cycle.
- Staff time to assist with finding information, making connections with people or organizations, advising on grant applications; staff expertise in local food systems from the supply side.
- Connections to organizations involved in sustainable agriculture and/or food systems: SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota Food Association, Land Stewardship Project, the Minnesota Project, Sustainable Farming Association, Minnesota Grown, Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships.
Names of contact people: Helene Murray, Jane Jewett, Kate Seager