Surveying Minnesota’s organic farmers
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is asking organic farmers about a range of topics from planting to promoting. Minnesota’s 700 certified organic farmers were mailed the Survey of Minnesota Organic Farms in mid-March. The survey asks them to share their experiences and ideas in 27 questions addressing profitability, production costs and challenges, research needs, marketing, and outlook.
This survey is intended to keep Minnesota’s organic farmers at the front of their field in one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the food industry. “The insights organic farmers share will help us focus programs and resources on areas that make a difference to their bottom line,” said MDA organic program administrator Meg Moynihan. “Organic market demand is very strong, and we want to do all we can to help existing and new organic farmers capitalize on that fact.”
Certified organic farmers who did not receive a survey in the mail can contact Moynihan at 651-201-6616 to request a copy. Surveys must be returned to the MDA by Tuesday, April 15. Results will be available later this summer on the MDA website. To learn more about organic farming in Minnesota, please visit: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/food/organic.aspx.
Beef council’s referendum voted down by producers
Minnesota’s beef producers have rejected the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council’s proposed Referendum asking for an increase in check-off dollars. Sixty three percent of the 1,525 voting producers voted against the referendum. Thirty seven percent of voting producers voted for the referendum.
The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council had asked the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to conduct the referendum proposing to increase the amount of the current state check-off by an additional $1.00 per head on all bovine animals.
The current $1.00 per head check-off supports the state and federal beef councils and will remain in effect. Half of this fee supports the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council and the other half supports the national beef check-off.
If you have any questions about the referendum please contact either the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council at 952-854-6980 or the MDA at 651-201-6013.
Through the automatic check-off program, farmers pay a percentage of their sale proceeds to their commodity council. Commodity councils use these funds to pay for promotion, communication and research activities aimed at increasing crop and livestock value for producers.