In 2015, Minnesota lawmakers approved legislation that created the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Tech Transfer program (AGREETT). With AGREETT funding, in 2017 Extension hired Jared Goplen, a University of Minnesota Extension crops educator based in Morris.
A food forest combines trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and self-seeding annuals to provide edible fruits and nuts. Rather than individually maintained parcels, the entire food forest is open to the public for harvest. The idea is to create an ecosystem that protects the soil, provides healthy foods, and requires minimal labor to be productive.
Consumer interest in experiencing closer connections to their food is contributing to a growth in agritourism offerings in Minnesota. Events like the Central RSDP-supported Salsa Fest provide opportunities to connect with growers and makers of value-added products such as salsa.
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