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 nearly 30 years ago by specialty crop growers to differentiate their produce from produce grown thousands of miles away.
Minnesota Grown creates the annual Minnesota Grown Directory, which connects Minnesotans directly to farmers, farmers' markets, and other producers. The 2017-2018 Minnesota Grown Directory boasts 1,031 farms and farmers markets! It also includes fun facts and family-friendly activity suggestions. Search through the Directory to find farmers markets, CSA farms, garden centers, wineries, fruit & vegetable growers, pick-your-own farms, livestock producers, meat processors, Christmas tree growers, and producers gourmet products like honey, wild rice, and cheese. The Directory is available in print and also online.
The Directory is available statewide through travel information centers, libraries, chambers-of-commerce, Explore Minnesota Tourism, member producers’ farms, and at special events like the Minnesota 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 Minnesota Grown Directory. 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
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 has a long-standing love of food and agriculture and grew up on a family farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa. 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 food systems projects within U of M Extension. In her free time, Karen enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, and cooking.
As Member Services Coordinator, Karen is responsible for managing updates to the Minnesota Grown Directory and Wholesale Directory, connecting to and recruiting new Minnesota Grown members, and sharing information about Minnesota Grown at public events and trade shows.
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). She possesses a strong digital and social marketing background and is an occasional local food guest author. Believing good food contributes to a healthy lifestyle, Tina enjoys cooking and celebrating with local produce and products.
Tina's responsibilities include the USDA-funded (SCBG & FSMIP) customer research projects conducted across various Minnesota Grown Program farms, markets, and businesses as well as writing and editing content for Minnesota Grown.
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 with the National Pork Board, the Agriculture Future of America organization, and several clubs on campus.
Kristin is responsible for the Minnesota State Fair booth, and assists team members with social media, newsletters, website management, and promotional item orders.
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!