Regional Food Systems Plan

 We’re so excited to announce the launch of the development of West Central Minnesota’s first ever food systems plan. 

As part of our first phase of planning we held three community asset mapping input meetings November and December of 2022. We then held a Lunch and Learn event that shared what we’ve learned while giving folks another opportunity to provide feedback. Through the asset mapping exercise we captured the regions resources, innovative projects, and food infrastructure which is making this region a great place to start a farm, a food business, to access healthy foods, to scale a business and more.

The second phase of the project will involve community meal event where we will engage more diverse populations and additional community input. Our goal will be to hold an event in each of Becker, Clay, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties in spring/summer 2023. Watch for announcement on this page in the coming months.

Upon completion of the written regional food system plan a Regional Food Council will form to advance some of the top priorities identified in the plan.




What is a food system plan?

A food systems plan is a long-range planning document that lays out a
community’s vision for its growth. Planning brings structure and
strategy to local food systems growth, and helps align policies, such as
ordinances, zoning, and incentives to support the local food system.

What is asset mapping?

Asset mapping is a systematic process of cataloging key services, benefits, and
resources within the community, such as individuals’ skill sets, organizational
resources, physical space, institutions, associations, and elements of the local
economy. This will also help us identify what’s missing.

How will the information be used?

Information collected from all three sessions will be aggregated to paint the full
picture of what kinds of resources are currently in place to support a resilient food
system. Findings from the sessions will be included in the final draft of the regional
food systems plan.


Asset Mapping Key dates:
Session 1: Wednesday, November 30th, 9:00 AM Register
Session 2: Saturday, December 3rd, 10:00 AM Register
Session 3: Tuesday, December 2nd, 6:30 PM Register
Lunch ‘n Learn Recap: Tuesday, December 20th, 12:00 PM Register

Leadership Team

Emily Reno – Project lead & facilitator, Creating Community Consulting
Patrick Hollister – Active Living Planner, PartnerSHIP 4 Health
Jason Bergstrand – Manager, PartnerSHIP 4 Health
Mike Zastoupil – Agricultural & Food Systems Planner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture                                                                                                      Kate Mudge – West Central Initiative Foundation                                                    Annabelle Scafe – Center for Small Towns, UMN Morris