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Growing small farms in Minnesota

Ag News Wire
By Betsy Wieland, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. PAUL, Minn. (2/7/2011) —The number of small farms in Minnesota is growing. Existing farms are also expanding to new enterprises, due to increasing consumer interest in local and organic food.

University of Minnesota Extension offers education that addresses the needs of these new small farms and expanding enterprises by connecting their owners with the research and expertise of the university.

Extension's Small Farms flagship program is "Living on the Land," which will begin its fourth season this year. This workshop series has grown from one location yearly to being offered in three locations in March.

Living on the Land covers the fundamentals of land ownership, weed and pasture management, farm equipment, and more. The last night is a farm tour.

Extension's Small Farm program also offers Small Farm U events, which are half-day or full-day events on specific aspects of farming and beginning new farming enterprises. For example, Small Farm U -St Paul will be March 26 on the university's St. Paul campus and will have three tracks: Market Garden Development, Getting Started with Poultry, and First Steps to Small Farm Management Success.

Lastly, the Team offers a weekly Small Farm newsletter via email. It keeps Minnesotans informed about upcoming educational offerings, timely news, and relevant research on a wide variety of topics such as livestock, market gardens and natural resources.

Registration for Extension's Small Farm workshops is open now. Visit for more information.

Any use of this article must include the byline or following credit line:
Betsy Wieland is an agricultural production systems educator with University of Minnesota Extension.

Media Contact: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension, (612) 625-0237,

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