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
This event featured several farmers who have successfully marketed their products directly to consumers, as well as other channels such as restaurants, groceries/co-ops, and other wholesalers. Panelists shared what has worked and what hasn’t, and how their marketing strategies have changed over time. Watch the recorded webinar here!
Grant Money for Farmers: How to Maximize Funding to Grow Your Business with Kristine Jepson, farm business owner, grant proposal writer, and SBDC consultant
Participants learned about grant programs available to farms and how to identify products and projects within their business that may be eligible for funding. Topics included common application requirements, deadlines, and best practices. Watch the recorded webinar here.
Farmers Get Creative During Pandemic with Megan Roberts of the University of MN Extension and Ryan Brixius of the US Department of Agriculture
A conversation about the current state of agriculture during a global health crisis, learn about resources to offset any negative impact, and dream about creative solutions for the future. Watch the recorded webinar here.
Ask a Lawyer: Navigating the Legal Structure of Your Business with Rachel Armstrong, founder and Executive Director of Farm Commons
Setting up the right business structure for your farm or business can seem daunting. The truth is that it’s quite straightforward and we’ll show you how! This session walks through the options and decision-making factors, recognizing that each owner will make the decision that works for them. Stick around for the checklist of steps to make sure the benefits of an LLC or corporation are there for you when you need them. Wondering what an operating agreement is for? That’s on the agenda, too. Watch the recorded webinar 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.
Minnesota Public Radio interviewed local farmer Mary Lou Graf along with EDA Director Allison Wagner on part of the County’s farming initiative. Find the MPR news story here.
.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 725-5836.
Local ag business spotlights
A selection of agrictultural businesses and farmers in Houston County.
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.