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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Southeast > Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems > Carlson Ventures Food Hub Review

Carlson Ventures Food Hub Review


This project is a component of the Southeast Foodshed Planning Initiative (SEFPI). The purpose is to develop a deeper understanding of current efforts across Minnesota to develop local food hubs; identify what is working, as well as common challenges.


UM Carlson School of Management MBA students: Nate Karnitz, Junjie Mao, Derek Mathers, Shawn Patnode, Xiangjun Xu


  • Carlson Ventures Enterprise, an experiential program for University of Minnesota MBA students, created for the Regional Partnerships a comprehensive list of people, businesses and organizations that are aggregating, marketing, transporting, and processing farm-produced products for use by local rural institutions, restaurants, and consumers.
  • The team collected information such as business structure, data on markets served, key partners, web presence, operational history, geographic reach, activities, products, strategies, barriers, opportunities and current financial status.
  • The team compiled a database and a presentation detailing the aggregated findings.
  • These findings are presented in a report titled, "Rural Minnesota Food Systems and Food Hub Overview," which is meant to provide a synopsis of the rural Minnesota food system, as well as an analysis on the viability of creating food hubs to provide local foods to local communities. The report details the current food landscape in Minnesota, the approach to the analysis, potential opportunities, industry challenges, as well as a number of considerations and strategic approaches which were a result of the analysis.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of current efforts across Minnesota to develop local food hubs
  • Identify what is working as well as common challenges
  • Allow RPs to build working relationships among players and provide educational and strategic resources to advance development of a statewide system of food hubs
  • Students gain real world perspective and experience


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