January 14, 2016

Hello everyone! Hope your day is going well. I have a few things to share with you this morning.

Some folks have been requesting more up to date information concerning upcoming events and changes. I’m pretty sure we are getting them out to you as soon as we know about them. Please be sure that you have clicked on the “Follow” button at the bottom right hand side of this blog, and you will receive emails as soon as a blog is published. There is also a twitter account connected to this blog @MNCottageLaw, as well as our Facebook page: MN Cottage Food Law. If you would like to subscribe to newsletters from the Minnesota Farmer’s Market Association just request this on their Contact Us page.

I hope that by now you have had a chance to check out the resource information from my last blog. We really want to thank the MFMA for keeping up with that for us. I also have received a FAQ list from Suzanne Driessen of frequently asked questions. She tries to keep up with this and updates it when she gets new questions: Cottage Food FAQ’s.

In case anyone was hoping to attend the last 3 classes in the southern region, I have received some important information from the MFMA concerning this. Please read the information below, if you have any questions their contact info is posted. Have a good day!

Scholarships Available for SW / SE Farmers’ Market Academies!

Thanks to the University of Minnesota’s Southwest and Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the cost and mileage expenses for the Academies in Redwood Falls, Mankato and Rochester are covered at either 75% or 100%, depending on your county, and on a first come, first serve basis.

These workshops feature marketing and pricing resources for produce growers, butchers and cottage foods producers alike, presented from a fellow farmers’ market, CSA and farm stand producer. He also happens to be an Extension Educator: Ryan Pesch.

In addition, Extension food safety educator Suzanne Driessen will offer a cottage foods safety and legality presentation that qualifies participants for 3 years of food safety trainings mandated for all producers of pickles, jams, jellies, baked goods and other non-potentially hazardous value-added products produced in the home kitchen.

Local caterers will be bringing their best to the table for lunch as you network with other farmers, producers and market managers.  You’ll also visit as you look over a series of farmers’ market stands and review their presentations: some good and some not so good!

Take advantage of this great opportunity!  Register at www.mfma.org for one of the final 3 Farmers’ Market Academies in Redwood Falls on January 20, Mankato on Feb. 9 and Rochester Feb. 10. All scholarships will come in the form of reimbursements (you pay first and get paid back later).

Folks in the Southwest receive a 75% reimbursement for both the cost of the workshop and mileage at $.54/mile. Those counties are: Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Pope, Redwood, Sibley, Renville, Rock, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Watonwan, Yellow Medicine.

Folks in the Southeast can apply for  for a 100% attendance/mileage reimbursement up to $200. Those Counties include: Blue Earth, Faribault, Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Fillmore, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona. Please contact Jeni Loftus at jcloftus@umn.edu  to apply.

Many thanks to the local food-loving folks at the U of M’s RSDPs for making these scholarships possible! If you have any questions, please give Kathy Zeman a call at (320) 250-5087 or email at kzeman@mfma.org

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