Farm to School and early care programs support local farmers, children and local economic growth. Selling to institutional markets can give farmers a predictable, stable source of income. Here are some useful tools to help farmers succeed in this market.
Minnesota Grown Wholesale Directory — Minnesota Department of Agriculture — Market your products to schools and other organizations. This database is free to Minnesota Grown members. Not a member? Join today for this benefit and more: Minnesota Grown Wholesale Directory Registration.
On-farm GAPs Education Program — University of Minnesota Extension — Get help writing your on-farm food safety plan and putting it into practice, as well as preparing for Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) audits.
Agricultural Business — University of Minnesota Extension — Producers face uncertain markets and narrow margins. Our programs, software, and tools teach producers and professionals about: risk management, marketing plans, transferring your business to the next generation, and agricultural policy questions.
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), Publications Catalog — University of Minnesota — MISA promotes sustainable agriculture in Minnesota. The publications catalog offers handbooks and guides on marketing local foods and building a sustainable business, among dozens of others.
Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Production — University of Minnesota Extension —Find research on how to refine your production and marketing practices to produce healthy safe foods and enhance profitability.
Small Farms — University of Minnesota Extension — Minnesota has seen a sharp rise in small farms. To serve these farmers, the Small Farms team provides education in crop and livestock production, natural resources conservation, and business management to enhance the sustainability of Minnesota's small farms.
New Farmers — United States Department of Agriculture — An online portal that provides assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance, and other support services.
Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Post Harvest Handling, and Packing Produce — FamilyFarmed.org — This 316-page book is the definitive training source on selling into wholesale markets. It includes topics such as calculating return on investment; cleaning, drying, and curing produce; traceability; packing shed design; and maintaining the cold chain.
Tips, Tools and Guidelines for Food Distribution and Food Safety — Oklahoma Farm to School — The main goal of this publication is to help ease the distribution barriers existing within farm to school initiatives. Includes a produce calculator to convert pounds into school meal servings, a distribution cost template, food safety checklist, and sample Memorandum of Understanding between farmers and schools.