Ag Resources

Greater Minnesota, a 60-county area, comprises the majority of CEDA’s service territory in over 35 cities, counties, and rural cooperatives. As a 34-year-old 501(c)(3) organization specializing in small business assistance and economic development in rural communities, CEDA has identified the need to retain agribusinesses and support entrepreneur farmers and value-added producers. In recognition that agribusinesses drive local-to-global economies, CEDA strives to connect farmers with their regional assets.

Harvest Entrepreneur Network (HEN)

Entrepreneurs in rural Minnesota are invited to apply to join the Harvest Entrepreneur Network (HEN), a new program led by Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). Through HEN, CEDA’s professional staff will:

1) Provide free, individualized coaching to a cohort of rural entrepreneurs

All are welcome to apply, and applications are strongly encouraged from entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and traditionally-underserved populations (including women and nonbinary individuals, veterans, minorities, and people with disabilities). Applications are now open on a rolling basis for acceptance into the program. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified within approximately three weeks of applying.


The HEN cohort program aims to help approximately 40 entrepreneurs with topics such as financial management, marketing, succession planning, connection to local resources and professionals, and grant writing assistance. This one-on-one coaching will be a mix of in-person and digital meetings, tailored to the needs of the entrepreneur. In addition to the free business assistance, CEDA’s experienced rural business development staff will also create in-person and virtual spaces for the entrepreneur cohort to connect with one another, build community, and share knowledge.

2) Develop a series of workshops aimed to educate, connect, and support businesses in greater Minnesota. The list of scheduled workshops is as follows:

Friday, June 12 from 10-11am
Farming in Tough Times with Emily Krekelberg of the University of MN Extension


With low commodity prices, high debt loads, and challenging weather in recent years, farmers are experiencing a high amount of stress. In this session, Emily will review the nature of farm stress, discuss how to identify stress, provide strategies for communicating with stressed individuals, and review available resources. This session is for anyone who has ever thought, “I should say something, but I wouldn’t know what to say.”  

You may view the recorded session below.

Tuesday, June 23 from 5-7pm
Direct Marketing for Farmers with Lisa Klein, of Hidden Stream Farm and Dover Processing, Sara George of D & S Gardens and Market Manager for Red Wing, and Wabasha Farmers’ Market, and Rachelle Meyer of Wholesome Family Farms

This event will feature several farmers who have successfully marketed their products directly to consumers, as well as other channels such as restaurants, groceries/co-ops, and other wholesalers. Panelists will share what has worked and what hasn’t, and how their marketing strategies have changed over time.

You may view the recorded session below.

Tuesday, June 30 from 10-11:30am
Grant Money for Farmers: How to Maximize Funding to Grow Your Business
 with Kristine Jepson, farm business owner, grant proposal writer, and SBDC consultant
Learn about grant programs available to farms and how to identify products and projects within your business that may be eligible for funding. We’ll also cover common application requirements, deadlines, and best practices. *Attendees will be eligible to register for a FREE one-on-one consultation with presenter Kristine Jepsen after the webinar.

You may view the recorded session below.

Wednesday, July 1 from 1pm – 2pm
Farmers Get Creative During Pandemic 
with Megan Roberts of the University of MN Extension and Ryan Brixius of the US Department of Agriculture 
Join us for a conversation about the current state of agriculture during a global health crisis, learn about resources to offset any negative impact, and dream about creative solutions for the future.

You may view the recorded session below.

Friday, July 17 from 10-11am
Ask a Lawyer: Navigating the Legal Structure of Your Business with Rachel Armstrong, founder and Executive Director of Farm Commons 
Setting up the right business structure for your farm or business can seem daunting. The truth is that it’s quite straightforward and we’ll show you how! We will walk through the options and decision-making factors, recognizing that each owner will make the decision that works for them. Stick around for the checklist of steps to make sure the benefits of an LLC or corporation are there for you when you need them. Wondering what an operating agreement is for? That’s on the agenda, too. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

You may view the recorded session below.

HEN Resources

HEN Toolkit: This document is a basic guide for starting or expanding your rural business. It includes information on what you should consider as you get started, how to obtain financing, marketing strategies, common human resource issues, sample business plans, and more! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Grants for Farmers Resource Page: This document has information on grant resources for Minnesota farmers. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Recorded Webinars

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business – Starting a Farming MicroEnterprise with Ryan Pesch, University of Minnesota Extension  

To learn more about HEN, please e-mail [email protected] or 507-867-3164. This program is made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.


Houston County Farming Initiative

The Houston County Economic Development Authority is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Extension and with Workforce Development Inc. to help local farmers looking to try something new on or off their farms. For more information, please visit or contact Houston County EDA Director and CEDA Small Cities Development Program Specialist, Allison Wagner, at [email protected] or (507) 458-2492.


Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory

The Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory is a tool meant to be a freely accessible database of land owned by governmental entities within the State of Minnesota that emerging farmers can inquire about. We strongly encourage emerging farmers work with resource partners, many of whom are identified in the Resources Inventory, when inquiring and starting a farm.

We will be continually updating the Land and Resource Inventories, but some information may be outdated or inaccurate.  In this event, please contact Ron Zeigler at [email protected] with a brief description of the suggested correction.

If you would like to recommend the addition of land, please send a completed Farmable Publicly Owned Vacant Land Form to Ron Zeigler at [email protected]

For emerging farmers seeking to negotiate a land purchase or lease, we have provided a Publicly Owned Land Negotiation Check List. While the list is not exhaustive, it may serve as a general guide to common topics to consider when seeking to negotiate terms on land owned by governmental entities. We recommend this be paired with working alongside a resource partner.

The Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory has been made possible by Compeer Financial and AgriBank.

Farmable Publicly Owned Vacant Land Form (Word)

Farmable Publicly Owned Vacant Land Form (PDF)

Land Inventory 12.16.2016 (PDF)

Land Inventory 12.16.2016 (Excel)

Exemption Codes PRISM DoR Data_9.2017

Exemption Codes PRISM DoR Data_9.2017 (PDF)

Exempt Ag Land PRISM DoR Data_9.2017

Exempt Ag Land PRISM DoR Data_9.2017 (PDF)

Publicly Owned Land Negotiation Checklist Revised (Word)

Publicly Owned Land Negotiation Checklist Revised (PDF)

Resources Inventory June 2016 (PDF)

Resources Inventory June 2016 (Excel)