Tricounty News

Resource available for farming options

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is offering a new resource for farmers considering alternative enterprises for their operations. Agricultural Diversification Compass: A Guide to Choosing New Directions for Your Farm is a 10-page workbook designed to help growers think through their goals, resources, knowledge base, and risks in an organized approach. It helps growers narrow their choices to a manageable few that they can explore in more depth. MDA Commissioner Gene Hugoson said the resource is valuable for farmers considering new crops, livestock, alternative growing methods, or marketing strategies. "Minnesota's producers are progressive thinkers and the MDA is committed to help them be competitive in the 21st century," said Commissioner Hugoson. "We designed this workbook to help farmers identify options that hold the most promise for their operations and make sound agronomic and business decisions." The Agriculture Diversification Compass is available free of charge at or by calling MDA's Meg Moynihan at (651) 297-8916. The MDA will also provide multiple copies for use by groups. The workbook was developed by a partnership called Minnesota Grown Opportunities, which includes the MDA, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, and the University of Minnesota's College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences. Funds to print the workbook were provided by the U.S.D.A. Risk Management Agency's Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program.