in Houston County, Minn.

Agriculture forms the backbone of our county. The Houston County EDA provides support for our local farmers and ag businesses.

Helping farmers in Houston County

Minnesota Public Radio recently interviewed local farmer Mary Lou Graf along with EDA Director Allison Wagner on part of the County’s new farming initiative. Find the MPR news story here.

The Houston County Economic Development Authority is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Extension and with Workforce Development Inc. in an effort to help local farmers who are looking to try something new either on or off their farms.

Many resources are already available to our local agricultural producers. The EDA is researching market opportunities for non-traditional agricultural products. The EDA can also assist in submitting grants for special on-farm projects and has a revolving loan fund for gap financing qualifying projects.

Workforce Development Inc. can help farmers who are interested look for either full time or part time work off the farm. They help with things such as writing a resume, finding available jobs, training, and interviews. They also coordinate with businesses seeking temporary help who may be able to schedule work hours around a producers on-farm duties.

University of Minnesota Extension is a free source of education on agricultural production with topics ranging from traditional practices to new value-added opportunities. In addition, Extension is currently providing free, confidential farm financial counseling across the state.

If you know of a farmer who is struggling or who would like additional help in trying something new either on or off their farm please encourage them to reach out to the Houston County EDA. Our goal is to get to know our farmers, develop plans based on their individual interests and needs, and help them adapt so that they can be successful.

Needing additional loan options? Looking for options to transition your ag business to a more sustainable model? We welcome all inquiries!
For more information, please contact EDA Director Allison Wagner at or (507) 725-5836.

Local ag business spotlights

A selection of agrictultural businesses and farmers in Houston County.

Heintz Badger Valley Farm,

Dairy farmer Doug Heintz manages over 400 acres of cropland, 170 dairy cows, and three robotic milkers.

Welke Family Farm,

Jerry and Cindy Welke of Hokah were named 2015 Outstanding Conservationists of the Year. 

Sno Pac Foods,

Long-standing organic frozen food company farms 3,000 acres locally, and contracts over 1,500 more.

Hendel Farms,

Matt Hendel of Hendel Farms near Caledonia is a third generation dairy farmer.

Exploring Non-traditional Ag Options

A few local ag businesses are exploring ways to diversify, expand, or transition their businesses and farms to more sustainable models.

Hoch Orchards,
La Crescent

In 2016, Hoch Orchards received a $15K state grant to integrate animals into its orchard system.

Nettle Valley Farm,
Spring Grove

Nettle Valley Farm raises pastured pigs, and has begun an Incubator Farm Program.

Rockfilter Distillery,
Spring Grove

Looking to cure the solitude of farming life, Christian Myrah began distilling his crops into whiskey.

Sweet 16 Farm,

Local farm explores agro-tourism business options: hop yard and flowers.