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8 Agriculture

Hutchinson Leader/Litchfield Independent Review

November 2012

Minnesota specialty crops get a boost PRODUCERS AND PROGRAMS GET HELP FROM USDA he state of Minnesota has been awarded more than $700,000 in 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, tree nuts, flowers, and nursery plants (horticulture and floriculture). The grants will give producers of these crops a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for fiscal year 2012 supports initiatives that:  Increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption;  Improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costsp  Promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing


practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processorsp  Support research through standard and green initiativesp  Enhance food safetyp  Develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty cropsp Control pests and diseasesp  Create organic and sustainable production practicesp Establish local and regional fresh food systemsp and Expand food access in underserved/food desert communities. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands received grants this year, totaling $55 million. Visit to review the 2012 project summaries and view a list of all the awards, including the Minnesota projects.

Agricultural & Commercial – Pole Type Wood Construction – All Steel Metallic Construction

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