Local Foods

FEAST! Local Foods Network

The FEAST! Local Foods Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. By providing resources and technical assistance to food and farming entrepreneurs, we hope to see current businesses flourish and new businesses get established. The network launched as a partnership between SMIF and Renewing the Countryside, and is made up of many partners.

FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace

More than 1,500 people attend the annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace in Rochester each December. The Friday Tradeshow event is specifically for exhibitors and buyers – a great way to preview hot new local food products that are on-trend and shelf-ready! On Saturday, the public is invited to the Festival to sip, sample and stock up on locally-made foods from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Exhibitor Spotlight: Grandma’s Gourmets

Grow A Farmer Fund

The Grow a Farmer Fund provides small-scale sustainable farmers lower-interest loans of up to $15,000 to help them improve their operations and increase their bottom lines. The fund was created by generous contributions from more than 250 people and organizations – a true testament to our region’s commitment to supporting a local food economy in southern Minnesota.

Grow a Farmer loan client spotlight: Hare and Tortoise Farm and EJ Mushrooms

Contact Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director, at marciah@smifoundation.org 507-214-7021 for more information, or fill out the pre-application here.

FEAST! Smart Start Initiative Toolkit

Strong food economies are dependent upon successful entrepreneurs. These individuals start and expand small scale farms, production and processing facilities, distribution hubs, and food transportation systems. This also includes small town grocers, local cafés and restaurants, caterers and food service businesses all of which specialize in including local foods on their shelves or menus.

The FEAST! Smart Start Toolkit is a collection of documents and plans to help communities and organizations support these entrepreneurs. Download the files here.

For more information about the FEAST! Local Foods Network visit www.local-feast.org or contact Pam Bishop at 507-455-3215 | pamb@smifoundation.org.