The Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants to overcome the obstacles faced in reaching minority farmers and ranchers. So they have collaborated with area businesses and non-profit organizations to help meet their goal.
“We realize that this will not be a fast process but we are hoping to make steady progress,” said FSA State Executive Director Linda Hennen.
Minnesota FSA has teamed up with AgStar Financial Services and Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG), to provide capital to small and socially disadvantaged producers that want to start or expand their agricultural operation. AgStar set aside $2 million toward the initiative and has been working with FSA to reach the minority population in the state. Read more »
Freeborn Lumber Company owner John Miller and USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer inside the room that operates Freeborn’s geothermal system. The system was installed with support from USDA Rural Development.
John Miller got the call at 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2007.
Freeborn Lumber Company – the business John’s grandfather bought in 1946 and John purchased from his father in 1986 – was burning to the ground. Less than 30 minutes later, the nearly 100-year-old building was destroyed. Lightning struck a phone line next to a gas line and that was it. Firefighters arrived less than five minutes after getting called, but there was nothing they could do. Read more »
Dr. Steven Mulder can’t enter Harmony River Living Center in rural Minnesota without smiling.
Harmony River Senior Living Center, shown in a photo in late February, was financed through USDA’s Community Facilities Program.
The CEO and president of Hutchinson Area Health Care wore an especially large smile during a dedication ceremony for the new senior living facility in late February. “When we broke ground, we imagined what could be,” Mulder said. “We didn’t imagine this.” Read more »
Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development Minnesota State Director; Tom Smude; Jenni Smude; Carol Anderson, Community Development of Morrison County.
On a farm in small-town Pierz, Minnesota, Tom and Jenni Smude are breaking new ground in the cooking oil business. Tom and Jenni started Smude’s Natural Sunflower Oil in February of 2010 and have enjoyed the ride ever since. What began as an idea to grow a drought-tolerant crop transformed into a rural small-business success story with the potential to become something even bigger. Read more »
Dr. Julee Kingsley, dentist, practices out of a building in Elgin, Minn., financed with a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities loan. Dr. Kingsley grew up in Elgin, and returned to her home town to work after graduation.
If you’re looking to shatter any preconceived notions you might have about rural Minnesota, take a trip to Elgin and spend some time with Dr. Julee Kingsley and Dr. Colleen Urbain. Read more »
Pat Longmire has owned a grocery store in Spring Grove, Minn., for 22 years. He knows customers want fresh produce, quality meats and weekly deals that save a buck here and there.
But he wasn’t sure how customers would react after he put glass doors on the coolers in the store. Longmire didn’t have to worry for long, however. “The response was overwhelmingly positive,” he said. Read more »