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Published February 13, 2012, 07:06 AM

Duluth growers win grant to study feasibility of farmer cooperative

A group of Duluth area growers have won a $19,000 federal grant to explore the feasibility of setting up a cooperative of local farmers and producers.

By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune

A group of Duluth area growers have won a $19,000 federal grant to explore the feasibility of setting up a cooperative of local farmers and producers.

The Duluth Market Gardeners and Berry Association will receive the grant from the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development.

The group will use the grant to pay for a study looking into establishing a formal farmer cooperative made up of independent producers at the Duluth Farmers Market.

The grant is intended to help small and independent producers to develop value-added products. These are products whose value is increased during production or processing, such as turning raspberries into jam.

Together, Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced the grant on Tuesday.

“This support will help develop local markets and ensure that Duluth’s family farmers and producers can continue to grow their businesses well into the future,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

Franken noted the role of family farms in job creation and the state’s economy.

“This funding will allow Duluth’s family farmers to expand their operations and continue to produce the top quality products

enjoyed by people all over the country,” he said.

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