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New farms, markets sought for state directory

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Minnesota farmers and farmers markets that sell products directly to consumers are invited to purchase a listing in the new Minnesota Grown Directory. The cost for a listing in the 2013 directory is $40 and interested farmers and markets must sign up by February 15. Over 940 farms and farmers markets were included in last year's edition of the directory.

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will print and distribute approximately 190,000 copies of the Directory statewide through tourist centers, libraries, chambers of commerce, farms and retailers. By purchasing a listing in the printed Directory, farms and markets will also be included in the online edition of the Directory that is used by nearly 225,000 people annually.

MDA Agricultural Marketing Specialist Jessica Miles says the Minnesota Grown Directory helps consumers easily find the locally grown foods they desire.

"The Minnesota Grown Directory is the most comprehensive guide to local foods and plants in Minnesota," said Miles. "If it can be grown or raised here, the directory is the place to find it. We want to continue to expand the directory and help more farmers reach local consumers."

Farmers and markets must also be a Minnesota Grown Program member to participate in the directories, according to Miles. The Minnesota Grown Program is over 1200 members strong, including farmers markets, orchards, Christmas tree farms, meat producers and more. The $20 annual membership fee provides members with FREE marketing tools and materials, such as unlimited stickers, price cards and access to cost-share programs.

Potential new members, and members who are renewing their memberships, may sign up and pay online by clicking on the "Members" box at www.minnesotagrown.com, or by contacting Jessica Miles at 651-201-6170 or Jessica.miles@state.mn.us to request an application by mail or for additional questions.

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