Bemidji State to participate in interactive meeting on community-based food systems

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State University is one of four universities in Minnesota participating in an interactive meeting on community-based food systems sponsored by Congressman Collin Peterson, chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, on Friday, April 17.

The interactive meeting, which will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m., will be held in several locations throughout the Seventh Congressional District, including Room 111 in Bemidji State’s Deputy Hall.

“In my role as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ve emphasized the importance of the growing markets for organic, locally grown and sustainable agriculture as exciting new opportunities in agriculture,” Peterson said. “The purpose of this event is to share information about programs available in the 2008 Farm Bill that address these opportunities. 

The meeting will be held simultaneously at four locations connected by interactive video. Representatives from USDA Rural Development and members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee staff will explain the various programs in detail, such as the Value Added Producers Grant, Rural Energy for America, Farmers Market Promotion Program, Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Research provisions, etc.

“Local food can provide opportunities for profit for farmers and other rural entrepreneurs and main street businesses who want to participate in processing and distributing food,” Peterson said. “This is an opportunity to learn how your community can use USDA programs as engines for economic development that will benefit farmers, rural communities, development organizations, businesses, and individuals.”

The meeting will be held at Bemidji State; Southwest Minnesota State University; the University of Minnesota, Crookston; and the University of Minnesota, Morris.

While there is no charge to attend the meeting, Congressman Peterson’s office requests interested attendees RSVP to any of the following:
• Peterson’s Web site,
• Peterson’s Red Lake Falls District office at (218) 253-4356
• via email at

For additional information, please contact Peterson’s Economic Development Officer, Toni Merdan at (218) 849-7344 or visit Peterson’s Web site at for the agenda and other materials.

April 17
– 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Interactive meeting on community-based food systems, led by Congressman Colling Peterson, chair, U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Location: Deputy Hall 111, Bemidji State University campus. Information: Toni Merdan, (218) 849-7344 or Admission: free; RSVP to; (218) 253-4356; or