About Us

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. 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.

Meet the Minnesota Grown Team

Karen Lanthier
Member Services Coordinator
651-201-6140, karen.lanthier@state.mn.us

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.

 

Danielle Daugaard
Marketing & External Relations Coordinator
651-201-6170, danielle.daugaard@state.mn.us

Danielle, marketing and external relations coordinator

Danielle's love for the outdoors includes activities like camping, horse riding, and - of course! - finding fresh, local produce. She enjoys discovering new farmers markets, meeting the growers, and bringing home unique finds to try new recipes.

As Marketing & External Relations Coordinator, Danielle connects customers with local producers throughout Minnesota by engaging with them on social media, the Minnesota Grown website, and through other media partnerships. She brings a strong digital marketing background and proven experience growing community relationships for experience-based organizations, including the Water Park of America and the National Eagle Center. Danielle graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, with a BSB in Marketing.

Tina Cassler
Project Specialist
651-201-6688, tina.cassler@state.mn.us

Tina Cassler

Tina believes good food contributes to a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about cooking and celebrating with local foods and products. In addition to being an occasional local food guest author, Tina loves traveling the world and exploring new markets wherever she lands!

As Minnesota Grown’s Project Specialist, Tina manages and executes all aspects of the USDA-funded (SCBG & FSMIP) Customer Satisfaction Research Projects conducted across various Minnesota Grown Program farms, markets, and businesses. She also writes and edits content for Minnesota Grown. Tina possesses an exceptional digital marketing and market research background from her experiences in the corporate world. She graduated with a master's degree from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) at the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Wescott
Student Worker
651-201-6469, sarah.wescott@state.mn.us

Sarah Wescott

Sarah has a passion for food and agriculture that stemmed from her childhood in southeastern Minnesota where she grew up on a small apple orchard. Much of her youth was spent outside camping, hiking, cooking, gardening with her parents, and taking road trips around the United States. Additionally, growing up in an agricultural community helped her gain an appreciation for the work that farmers do and the benefits of a strong local food system. Today, Sarah attends Macalester College in St. Paul where she studies environmental studies with an emphasis in food systems. She is also pursuing a minor in Latin American studies.

As the student worker for Minnesota Grown, Sarah helps Karen and Danielle fulfill promotional orders, stay in touch with members, and maintain marketing channels including social media, website, and newsletters.

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 three,  she can fully attest to the need of introducing children to healthy, local food at a young age. 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!