About the Program
The Minnesota Grown Program is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. It was created over 30 years ago by specialty crop growers to differentiate their produce from produce grown thousands of miles away.
The Minnesota Grown Program produces the annual Minnesota Grown Directory, which connects consumers directly to members who sell an array of Minnesota raised or grown products. The Directory is available in print and also online here. In print, the 2017-18 Minnesota Grown Directory boasts 1,031 farms and farmers markets! It also includes fun facts and family-friendly activity suggestions relating to agriculture. The Directory is distributed statewide through Travel Information Centers, libraries, chambers-of-commerce, Explore Minnesota Tourism, member producers’ farms and at special events like the State Fair. You may also order Directories directly from us and they are shipped to you for FREE! Click here to order your own copy of the latest printed Directory. We have over 1,300 diverse members including 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. The Minnesota Grown Program works hard to provide members with marketing tools and resources. For more information about member-services, click here to be directed to our members & retailers page.
About the Staff
For any generic questions about our program - or if you are unsure of who to reach out to - please send an email here or call our answer line at 1-800-657-3878.
Paul Hugunin, Program Coordinator, 651-201-6510, email@example.com
Paul is the old timer of Minnesota Grown. He has been with the program ever since he was hired as a student worker in 1988. He graduated from the U of M College of Agriculture (now CFANS) with a degree in Ag Business Administration and was hired to work with Minnesota Grown full time. In addition to providing overall leadership to the Minnesota Grown Program, Paul is the director of the Agriculture Marketing & Development Division. He was raised on a small farm that produced corn, soybeans and beef cattle in Jackson, Minnesota.
Karen Lanthier, Member Services Coordinator, 651-201-6140, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen joined the Minnesota Grown team in spring of 2017 with a long-standing love of food and agriculture. Karen grew up on a family farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa that produced corn, soybeans, and raised hogs. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with BS in Nutrition Science and a MS in Science, Technology, and Environmental Public Policy. Previous to working with Minnesota Grown, Karen worked on sustainable agriculture and food systems projects within U of M Extension. In particular, she worked with farmers, food entrepreneurs, and grocers around Minnesota on maintaining fresh produce quality, navigating food regulations, and exploring new markets for locally grown food. In her free time, Karen enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, and cooking.
Tina Cassler, Project Specialist, 651-201-6688, email@example.com
Tina has a zeal for marketing and research. She earned a master's degree from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD). Tina possesses a strong social and digital marketing background and is an occasional local food guest author. She believes good food contributes to a healthy lifestyle and enjoys cooking and celebrating with Minnesota Grown products.
Kristin Liepold, Student Worker, 651-201-6469,
Kristin is a University of Minnesota undergraduate studying Agriculture Communication and Marketing, Animal Science and Agriculture Food Business Management . Her focus is public relations and crisis communication of livestock entities. Kristin is involved on campus with clubs, a sorority, and with the Agriculture Future of America organization. Kristin is responsible for the Pick of the Month Newsletter, member services, social media, and website management.
Meet our Spokeswoman
The Minnesota Grown Program is proud to have Carrie Tollefson as our spokesperson. A native of Dawson, Minnesota, Carrie was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team competing in Athens, Greece.
Carrie believes that eating right is very important whether you’re a world class athlete or just trying lead a healthy, active life. "Being conscious of what I put in my body has improved my training and performance" said Carrie. "I'm always looking for fresh, unprocessed foods like those offered in the Minnesota Grown Directory. Growing up in a farming community, I have a great deal of respect for the hard work of Minnesota farmers. I love to shop at the local farmers' market when I'm in town and I definitely purchase Minnesota Grown products at my local store whenever I can."
Carrie works well for our program because not only does she know the importance of eating locally to be a “world-class athlete”, but also so she can be a “world-class mom”. Now a mother of two, she can fully attest to the need of introducing children to healthy, local food at a young age. Carrie, along with her husband and their two children, grace the cover of the 2014 Minnesota Grown Directory. Carrie’s athletic accomplishments and her genuine passion for local farms continue to make her an ideal spokeswoman for the Minnesota Grown Program. She believes whole-heartedly in eating healthy, local food whenever possible & knows the importance of serving that to her children. Carrie and her family play a prominent role as we strive to make the Directory not only the top place to find your local farmer, but also a great source of good, local fun!