Green Eating and Vacationing in Minnesota: Eat and Play to Support Sustainable Agriculture

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $150,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Jan Joannides
Renewing the Countryside

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Farm Business Management: marketing management
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal of this project is to increase sales for sustainable farmers by increasing the demand for their products from Minnesota restaurants and cafés and the wholesalers that supply them. We will conduct a strategic, multi-faceted public education campaign that will encourage and assist individuals in eating and vacationing in ways that support sustainable agriculture and healthy rural communities. By telling the stories of cafés and restaurants across the state that are committed to buying sustainably-produced ingredients, and by telling the stories of the farmers that supply them, we will build awareness and support of working local food systems. By combining these stories with recipes from local chefs and “green” tourism routes, and by planning an aggressive public relations campaign, we will build a new, committed clientele for the eating establishments and farmers showcased in this project and for sustainable farmers who would like to market their products locally.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    - Increase understanding of local, sustainable food systems and of regional food identities in individuals who have interest in food, health and the environment
    - Influence attitudes of restaurant, café and bed & breakfast owners and the wholesalers who supply them so that they see the marketing value of purchasing sustainably-grown products.

    - Influence purchasing behaviors of individuals who dine out and vacation across the state by acquainting them with local businesses and restaurants that support sustainable food systems.
    - Increase business for sustainable farmers, the businesses that support them, and the local communities where they are located.

    - Set a trend for travelling and dining out “greener” in Minnesota that will result in a greater demand for sustainably-grown products.
    - Develop a model that can be replicated in other states.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.