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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Research and reports

Health and nutrition educators both participate in and evaluate the work of food networks both in Minnesota and around the nation.

National research: Statewide food networks

What are the key activities of a statewide food network? What opportunities and challenges do these networks face? What are best practices to cultivate collective action? We interviewed leaders of 13 statewide food networks and two multi-state networks to find out.

Regional research: Ingredients for successful collaboration

What makes a food network successful? Extension educators interviewed five core members from three rural food networks in Minnesota. The report offers eight strategies for improved collaboration.

Download the 2014 report. Making soup: 8 ingredients for successful food network collaboration

Regional research: Understanding the landscape

As of 2014, Minnesota had 20 active food networks. What are their structures and functions? This summary brief is based on interviews with leaders Minnesota’s food networks. It describes the different kinds of work they are doing around the state.

Download the 2014 report. Minnesota food network landscape

Issue brief: Statewide food policy councils

What are the typical activities and outcomes of a statewide food policy council that could be relevant to Minnesota? Written by Extension educators and published by the Food Policy Research Center, this issue brief examines the implications of a food policy council in Minnesota.

Case study: A rural food hub

What does it take to kick off a brand new food hub in a rural area? What major challenges do emerging food hubs experience? What early steps are essential during the start-up phase? We analyzed the pilot season of the Fresh Connect Food Hub to find out.

Download the 2015 report. Fresh connections: The pilot season of a rural food hub

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