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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 Office

Active dates:2021 -

The Emerging Farmer Office exists to support emerging farmers regarding resources and opportunities available throughout the Department of Agriculture and the state. At a minimum, the office must coordinate the Emerging Farmer Working Group and the beginning farmer equipment and infrastructure grant program.


Appropriations for this office were first proposed in the 2021 regular session in HF2298/SF2228. The provisions did not pass in the regular session but did pass in the 2021 1st special session.

The creation of this office follows a report from the Emerging Farmers Working Group, which recommended that the Legislature "fund a dedicated position for community engagement within the [Minnesota Department of Agriculture]."

In 2023 the Legislature codified the office in statute, at Minn. Stat. 17.055, subd. 2a.

Subordinate to:
Agency heads:

Originally, the office was led by the Emerging Farmer Outreach Coordinator. In 2023, the Department of Agriculture appointed the office's first formal director, Lillian Otieno. She had served as the coordinator for the Emerging Farmers program since 2021.

Director: Lillian Otieno (2023 - )

New director of Minnesota Emerging Farmer's office brings commitment to immigrants, farmers of color. Sahan Journal, 2/12/2024.
MDA office helps emerging farmers. The Farmer, January 2024.
Emerging Farmers office pushes to expand diversity in farming. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), 11/8/2023.
Emerging Farmers Office director announced. Minnesota Department of Agriculture Press Release, 10/31/2023.
Minnesota creates new office to support 'emerging farmers'. Minnesota Reformer, 7/25/2023.
Record last updated: 10/31/2023

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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