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Unique support for local food systems development in MN, ND, & SD


North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota



This Center focuses on expanding small and mid-sized agricultural value chains in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. They plan to leverage existing assets and partner with established and well-connected organizations to expedite project implementation. As the lead applicant, Region Five Development Commission has a 16-year history working in regional food systems development and co-founded Sprout MN, a successful rural regional local food hub.


Center activities include technical assistance to create new value chain connections, expanding supply to and demand from new and existing markets, improving viability and increasing market value of products, and boosting Upper Midwest regional food systems in response to supply chain weaknesses, small business challenges, and other difficulties exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.


Their goal is to transform a region that primarily focuses on commodity and large-scale agriculture into an area that also supports smaller, more resilient farm and food practices, specifically focusing on the development of critical infrastructure for small and mid-size livestock processing, fruit and vegetable processing and warehouse space and storage operations. The proposal outlines an evaluation plan that details more than 20 measurable outcomes. The applicant prioritizes increasing sales for underserved small producers and working directly with each State’s Farmer’s Union and a diverse set of partners including the Latino Economic Development Center, Native CFDI’s, producer groups, Universities and Economic Development Districts.


Partners - Representing Minnesota

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission

East Central Regional Development Commission

Headwaters Regional Development Commission

Latino Economic Development Center

Mid-Minnesota Development Commission

Minnesota Farmers Union

Northwest Regional Development Commission

Region Five Development Commission 

Region Nine Development Commission

Southwest Regional Development Commission

Sprout MN

Upper Minnesota Valley River Regional Development Commission

Partners - Representing North Dakota

Lake Agassiz Development Group

North Central Planning Council

North Dakota Farmers Union

ND Rural Electric Cooperative Foundation

Lewis & Clark Development Group

ND Women's Business Center

ND Local Foods Development Alliance & FARMS

Red River Regional Council

Roosevelt Custer Regional Council for Dev.

Souris Basin Planning Council

South Central Dakota Regional Council

Tri-County Regional Development Council


Partners - Representing South Dakota


Central South Dakota Enhancement District

District iii

First District Association of Local Governments

Northeast Council of Governments

Black Hills Council of Local Governments

Value Added Agriculture Development Center

SD Specialty Producers Association

South Dakota Farmers Union

South Eastern Council of Governments

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To learn more about the MiNKota Regional Food Business Center, please contact Cheryal Hills

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