University of Minnesota
University Relations
Regional Partnership for Sustainable Development

Southeast Minnesota Foodshed Planning Initiative

Southeast MN Foodshed Planning Initiative (SEFPI)

What? A means to engage the research and outreach capabilities of our land-grant institution to respond to issues articulated by citizens in an effort to build a vibrant regional food infrastructure.
Why? Goals of the SEFPI were formulated by a diverse base of citizens who, via numerous events and meetings, articulated a set of priorities to create a level of regional food system self-reliance. Broad-based research is one way to start connecting the dots of 10+ years of small local projects that have not yet shifted our overall food environment.
How? We've engaged over 25 UMN faculty members and graduate students and over 30 community members serving on our steering committee-representing farmers, grocers, non-profits, local government, schools, community groups and private interests.

This team is guided by broad interdisciplinary questions:
· How food self-sufficient are we?
· What incentives & opportunities are needed to reach some level of food self-sufficiency?
· What are the possibilities for regional food production to meet economic, social, environmental & nutritional needs?

SEFPI Components So Far...

  • Regional Steering Committee & Learning Circle 
  • Program/Policy Review
  • Production Assessment
  • Survey about Current and Ideal Food Systems
  • Assessing Fresh Produce Demand of Minority Consumers
  • Foodshed Analysis
  • Economic Modeling
  • Spatial Analysis & Mapping
  • Trial Projects

SEFPI Project Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 1  - Volume 2, Issue 1 - Summer 2011

- Brochure

Research Findings

Predicting aggregate food consumption for a specific geographic area: an application to SE MN – Yu Wang

Methods and Approaches to Food System Change - Clara McConnell

Methods and Approaches to Food System Change - Powerpoint Presentation - Clara McConnell

Visualizing the Food Climate of SE Minnesota - Natalie Ross

CRD Study Area Maps - Steve Roos - Producers -- Retailers -- Cropland -- Populated Places

Past meeting presentations

Moving Local Foods to the Next Level - July 21, 2011. Distribution event.

ERC hosted a panel of project leaders from Minnesota, Wisconsin & Iowa who have been working to expand the capacity of local farmers to grow, produce and sell food in their own regions.

Nicole Penick – Fifth Season Cooperative, Viroqua, Wisconsin

Presentation Handout

Caroline van Schaik – Land Stewardship Project
(Lewiston, MN) & Ridgeway Community School Farm to School Project, Minnesota

LSP article about the project - Newsletter 2011 No. 1, pp. 25-27

Teresa Wiemerslage – Iowa State University Extension, Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition

Speakers' Bios

WHAT'S THIS BUZZ ABOUT FOOD HUBS? - presented at BCBS Center for Prevention meeting on local food distribution, June 27, 2011, St. Cloud and at joint meeting of the Driftless Region Food and Farm Project and the LaCrosse Farm to Institution Network, June 16, 2011, LaCrosse.