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Two new Farm Business Management urban ag and specialty crop instructor positions created

The Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council has continued its investment in Farm Business Management.

Growing Lots Urban Farm.jpg
Taya Schulte and Seamus Fitzgerald operate Growing Lots Urban Farm on two converted parking lots in the Seward neighborhood of south Minneapolis. The farm grows vegetables to sell at farmers markets, CSAs and wholesale.
Contributed / Growing Lots Urban Farm
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Two new Minnesota State Farm Business Management instructor positions have been created through grant funding from the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council.

MAELC is a 16-member legislative council that provides leadership to promote and expand agricultural education in Minnesota. The state legislature, agricultural educators, and agriculture industry leaders are all represented on the council.

Farm Business Management is offered online and in-person at seven college campuses across Minnesota as part of the Minnesota State system. Instructors provide individualized instruction to farmers and those interested in farming, assisting students in meeting their business and family goals.

MAELC is in its sixth year of offering support through grant funding to Minnesota’s Farm Business Management programs. New this year, two Targeted Additional Instructor grants were created with the purpose of reaching underserved populations.

The Urban Instructor grant provides $180,000 in total funding over two fiscal years to hire an instructor based in the seven-county metropolitan area. The Specialty Crop Instructor grant will be the second of its kind in Minnesota, with $70,000 in total support spread over two fiscal years. After a competitive grant application and review process, Central Lakes College was awarded both grants.


“Although we have had Farm Business Management Additional Instructor grants for multiple years, the MAELC board determined a more strategic approach was needed to reach our underserved farming populations,” said Sarah Dornink, executive director of MAELC. "Specific instructor focus on the metro geographic area and specialty crop producers will bring more attention to these audiences and is another avenue to strengthen Minnesota's farm economy."

Both positions are now open and accepting candidates:

“Thanks to the support of MAELC, Central Lakes College will be able to provide Farm Business Management education to a variety of students with varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds," said Cory Detloff, Director of the Ag and Energy Center and Farm Business Management at CLC. "Working together, we can begin to close an existing gap in management education while supporting urban and specialty crop production opportunities throughout Minnesota."
MAELC also continues to invest in Farm Business Management on a state-wide level. $3.46 million in FBM Challenge Grants has been awarded to Minnesota State Farm Business Management programs for the current biennium to maintain the number of instructors and students in their local program and meet program improvement parameters. These grant funds were made available to MAELC through the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer grant provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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