University of Minnesota
University Relations
Regional Partnership for Sustainable Development

Local Foods College

Local Foods College

Local Foods College is a series of eight sessions, meeting at 6 PM on Tuesdays from January 13 to March 3, 2015.  This is the fourth year for this series, and the 2015 series will provide many options for participants to interact with one another. The webinar format is handy for many participants to access from home or office locations.  There are also public sites that offer opportunity to network with your neighbors.

Schedule of Sessions

· January 13, 2015 - Natural Soil Fertility

· January 20, 2015 - Vegetable Production

· January 27, 2015 - Business PlanningRyan Pesch, Extension Educator, Community Economics who owns Lida Farm near Pelican Rapids

Participants will learn about basic financial analysis including how to measure profits in their operation as well as simple changes growers can make to help be more profitable. We will touch on cash flow analysis, define profitability and talk about gross margin

· February 3, 2015 - Native Pollinator/Bee Keeping

· February 10, 2015 - Deep Winter Greenhouses and Season ExtensionCarol Ford of Milan MN

A new movement in passive solar greenhouse design is sweeping Minnesota. Learn about passive solar greenhouse design and winter production techniques from one of the movement’s pioneers.

· February 17, 2015 - Growing in small spaces – Alex Liebman of Stone’s Throw Urban Farm (Minneapolis); Lake Region Takes Root (Fergus Falls)

You can maximize your production and get more out of your small yard/farm/garden plot. Learn about techniques like interplanting, succession planting, and maximizing season extension from experienced farmers.

· February 24, 2015 - Food Hubs: Community Connectors in Northwest and Central MinnesotaJessica Saucedo of Bemidji Area Food Hub; Melissa Mattson of Fresh Connect Food Hub; Arlene Jones of SPROUT MN Food Hub

Regional food hubs are springing up across the country and Greater Minnesota is no exception.  Food hub leaders from Central and Northwest Minnesota will share the story of their start up, lessons learned, community supported agriculture (CSA) models, building relationships with institutions and growers, and how a food hub can serve as a community connector.

· March 3, 2015 - Farm to Bottle - Eric Sannerud from Mighty Axe Hops; Ron Leasman from Leatherwood Vinegary; Michael and Cheri Reese from Far North Spirits

Hear the story of three innovative farm to bottle businesses from around Minnesota, and how they are adding value to locally grown grain, herbs and fruit through the process of fermentation.

We will ask participants to watch the following videos in advance of the session:

Local Foods College is free, but registration is required to provide you access to the Moodle classroom. Please register online here, or use this printable brochure.

Register Here

Printable Brochure

Sponsors and Partners

· University of Minnesota Extension


· Statewide Health Improvement Program


· Site 1

· Site 2

· Site 3

· Site 4

Recorded sessions from 2012, 2013 and 2014 are posted here: