For the second year, Menomonie Market Food Co-op has awarded grants to local farmers to promote the growth of regional farming, food processing, and product development in the Chippewa Valley.

90% of the farms in the US are classified as small according to the USDA. Although an increasing amount of our food comes from large agricultural concerns, small farms help to maintain our rural economies, steward our resources and are incubators for new agricultural opportunities.

The local Fund Our Foodshed Grant Program awards money to small farms to strengthen their operational infrastructure and to increase the production of food by small, local producers. Money has been raised for these grants and other food-related projects at MMFC by asking customers to raise their shopping bills to the nearest dollar at the checkout. 

In April the Fund Our Foodshed grant committee (consisting of co-op board members, staff, and members of the community) selected three winners from the eleven applicants for the grants (as a matter of transparency, this author is a board member at MMFC and was part of the committee awarding the grants). 

The 2019 awards were given to three area farms: Rising Sun Farm and Orchard (River Falls), Winnowburrow Farm (Colfax), and Racing Heart Farm (Colfax). A public reception will be held at the co-op in the fall to celebrate the improvements made to the farms. More information about the farms and their grants is available at the MMFC Website. 

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Steve Hanson
About

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Association, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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