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 What counts as the Upper Minnesota River Valley?

The chapter includes partners in or near the land that drains to the Upper Minnesota River basin. The region includes several counties in Minnesota including: Ottertail, Traverse, Stevens, Douglas, Pope, Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Swift, Kandiyohi, Renville, and Yellow Medicine. Organizations, farmers and individuals, physically outside the region, but with food system interest in the Upper MN River Valley are welcome to become partners.

 Who Can Join?

Any producer, grower, small processor, farmer, farmers market, grocery store, food coop, restaurant, caterer, individual, organization, agency, local government, etc. with food system interest in the Upper MN River Valley are welcome.

 I’m an organization or retailer and have no product of my own. How can I qualify to join?

Retailers, associations or other entities are encouraged to join the program as sponsors and promote Upper Minnesota River Valley agricultural products through the use of the logo and labels in their communications materials and by buying products form local growers or suppliers.

 How Do I Join?

Complete a brief application form and send the completed form along with any applicable fee to the U of M West Central Partnership, 46352 State Hwy 329, Morris, MN 56267 Application forms are available from the Swift County Rural Development Authority by calling 320-842-4769. Or click here to download an application.

 What Does it Cost?

  • $10 for food producing farmers, food service, retailers, farmer markets, caterers serving local foods, and individuals or “Vocal Locals.”
  • $25 sponsorship representing organizations including: non-profit organization, churches, agencies, public institutions, chamber of commerce, and government.

Local Partners submit a program registration fee annually with their application. Local Partners’ fees are used to help cover the costs of program promotional materials and advertising. Make checks payable to: University of Minnesota

 Who can use the BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL logo?

Only Upper Minnesota River Valley BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL Program Partners and Sponsors are allowed to use the logo and labels in support of the campaign.

 Why should members use the logo?

Using the logo shows consumers that the product was locally grown or processed in the Upper Minnesota River Valley, adding a perceived concept of freshness and quality to the product. It affords consumers and other members of the agricultural community the opportunity to support local agriculture.