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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Emerging Farmer Working Group

Also known as:
Emerging Farmers' Working Group
Active dates:2019 -

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture convened the working group to help prepare a mandated report, due February 1, 2020, about how best to address "emerging farmers" in Minnesota and the future of farming in the state generally. The group was formally established in law in 2020 and must now assist the commissioner to update the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over agriculture regarding the working group's activities and recommendations by January 15 of each year.


In 2019, the Legislature directed the Department of Agriculture to write a report on "emerging farmers" in five priority areas: women, veterans, persons with disabilities, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and members of communities of color. The Department held listening sessions throughout the state as they gathered information for their report, and the definition of "emerging farmer" expanded throughout the listening sessions.

The working group's final report defines "emerging farmers" as "both those individuals who are entirely new to farming as well as those individuals who have been farming for generations but were outside the scope of traditional state and Federal agricultural support programs."

The report made many recommendations, among them that an emerging farmers task force be created to "provide guidance to the Commissioner of Agriculture on developing programs and initiatives that support emerging farmers."

In 2020, the Legislature formally established the working group in law (see Laws of Minnesota 2020, chap. 89, art. 4, sec. 2 and Minn. Stat. 17.055).


In 2019, the Department of Agriculture held six listening sessions, led by Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture Patrice Bailey, to inform their work on a report mandated by the Legislature in 2019.

The group was formally established in law in 2020, and the inaugural working group members were appointed in October 2020. They include:

  • Gina Aguilar, Hennepin County
  • Hannah Bernhardt, Pine County
  • Elizabeth Bryant, Rice County
  • Naima Dhore, Ramsey County
  • Jessika Greendeer, Washington County
  • Janssen Hang, Dakota County
  • Denise King, Anoka County
  • Lucas Kruse, Blue Earth County
  • Erika Legros, Carlton County
  • Moses Momanyi, Isanti County
  • Hindolo Pokawa, Hennepin County
  • Emily Reno, Otter Tail County
  • Sai Thao, Dakota County
  • Miah Ulysse, Ramsey County
  • Michael Walgrave, Rock County
  • Kaitlyn Walsh, Carlton County
  • Shelly Woods, Sibley County
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
MN's Emerging Farmers program is sowing deep Indigenous roots. The Circle, August 2021.
Resources for emerging farmers. AURI Ag Innovation News, April-June 2021.
Members of Emerging Farmers group announced. The Farmer, January 2021.
Emerging Farmers' Working Group gets to work in MN. AgWeek, 11/16/2020.
Emerging Farmers' Working Group members announced. Department of Agriculture News Release, 10/27/2020.
Barriers to emerging farmers. AURI Ag Innovation News, July-September 2020.
Barriers to emerging farmers. AURI Ag Innovation News, July-September 2020.
Record last updated: 08/16/2021

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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