Here are some of our most commonly asked questions when signing up for the Minnesota Grown Directory. If you can’t find the answer to your question, don’t hesitate to contact us!
What should I write in my listing description? This is your invitation to the public to visit you or try your products, so emphasize your strengths and what makes you unique. Think about someone who’s never visited your farm. Take the opportunity to make a concise & catchy sales pitch they can’t refuse! Take time to review your listing to see if this is the picture you want to paint of your farm or market. Each listing may use only 460 characters total. Note: We don’t allow bold, underline, all caps, excessive use of exclamation points, etc.
Am I responsible for claims made in my directory listing? Yes, just as with any advertising, you are responsible to make sure the listing language you use is legal and verifiable. It is more often legal, and more honest, to tell people how you raise your produce rather than describing what is (or is not) contained in your products. For example, it would be much more accurate to say your products were raised “without the use of herbicides or insecticides,” than to say you have “pesticide free produce”, if that is a truthful claim. Please refer to the rules about organic claims below.
Will my listings description be edited? Yes. Minnesota Grown has the right to edit and change your listing before it is printed. Minnesota Grown has standardized abbreviations all listings must follow. (For example, June is always abbreviated as Jun). This helps to keep consistency throughout the Directory for our readings, as well as keeping the character count down.
How long will it take to see my listing? We generally enter directory listing information within two weeks of its arrival, so if you have web access, you can see what your listing looks like by visiting the online Directory. If you don’t have web access, please ask a friend or family member to print your listing to check for errors. We can modify your listing for the printed directory through Feb. 15.
If I want to list more than one product, do I need to purchase two directory listings? With each Directory listing, you get to choose up to five items you grow/raise from our long list of products/services that will be indexed online and in the print Directory.
Can I buy more than one Directory Listing? We don’t encourage multiple listings in order to achieve “Directory supremacy”, but if you have more than one location you may buy more than one listing at $40 ea (a second license is not necessary if ownership is the same. For example, one license with two listings is $100.) A good example of this is grower-owned retail lots for Christmas tree growers. A Christmas tree grower may purchase one listing for each of their retail lots at $40/each. If you are a produce grower and sell off your farm and an additional grower-owned farm stand, you may also purchase two listings for these locations. If you are a farmer who sells from their farm as well as a farmers market – you may not by a listing for the farmers market location – you may however tell readers that they can find you at a specific farmers market.
How do I get Directories for distributing at my location or at other local businesses or events? You can order quantities for FREE (watch for notification in the newsletter), order online, or contact us any time.
About the Product/Service Index (Your five selections):
These five items determine how your farm is indexed in the printed Directory as well as for online searching functions. Only choose products that you grow, raise or make yourself. For example, if you sell Minnesota Grown honey produced by another producer, you may NOT select honey as an index category but you ARE welcome to include honey in your Directory description. People use the Directory to connect directly to the producer of the product so it’s important to provide them with accurate indexes and search results.
- Farmers Markets/Winter Farmers Markets You can only be listed as a “Farmers Market” in the index if your market includes multiple growers selling their own products. We also limit farmers markets to only the “farmers market” and “winter farmers market” index items (markets are not allowed to select additional products for indexing). An exception is that a MN Grown business like a nursery that hosts a farmers market on-site may select four other index items – however – if this is not clearly described in your description, the farmers market category will not be added to your listing.
- Community Supported Agriculture Similarly, CSA farms may only select the “CSA Farm” index item unless they also sell items directly to consumers who DO NOT have a membership in the CSA. If you sell products that you grew or raised directly to consumers even if they don’t buy a membership/subscription, you may select up to four other items in addition to “CSA Farm”. The four other items MUST be products that non-members may purchase directly from you. For example, if you are a vegetable CSA but also sell chicken to non-CSA-members – you may select “CSA Farm” and “Chicken” as your categories.
- Certified Organic Products Organic is a regulated marketing claim. In order to use the term “organic” you must follow the USDA’s National Organic Standards. If you’d like to select this category, you must submit a copy of your organic certification with your renewal. No farms will be allowed to use this index category without a current certification on file. Operations that sell more than $5,000 of organic products annually must also be certified. If you are not certified organic (or exempt), do not use the word organic! Visit http://www.mda.state.mn.us/organicor call Meg Moynihan at 651.201.6616 for details. If you are certified organic, be sure to select this as an index category.
- Meat & Poultry There are many different claims made by growers in the directory regarding meat. These claims need to be accurate and verifiable. Many words such as fresh, lean, natural, low-fat, high-protein, and organic have legal definitions. Other product claims such as no-hormones, no artificial hormones, or no steroids, may not be used when describing meat/poultry products. (In some cases, similar claims may be made when describing animal feeding practices). It’s helpful if you list the type of plant the animal will be slaughtered or processed in such as “MN Inspected”, “USDA inspected”, or “Custom processed.” If you are uncertain about the legality of a potential claim, please call MDA’s Dairy & Food Inspection Division at 651.201.6272 for clarification before including it in your directory listing.
- Nursery Stock Persons selling nursery stock in MN must have a valid MN nursery stock dealer or nursery stock grower certificate. They must also sell only certified nursery stock and provide documents to verify certification of stock offered for sale. For more information or to apply for a nursery stock license, call 651.201.6619 or http://www.mda.state.mn.us/licensing/licensetypes/nurseryprogram.aspx