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Ann Wahlstrom
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Organic farming: a growing trend in Minnesota

Organic farming gives Minnesota farmers more opportunities

ST. PAUL, MN–(November 2, 2010)  According to a recent report by the Minnesota Department of Agricultureorganic farming in Minnesota has increased from under 400 organic farms in 2000 to about 650 in 2010.

The report says in 2008 there was 154,136 acres of certified organic farmland in Minnesota, 88 percent more acres than in 2000.

Survey data shows Minnesota organic farmers are optimistic about the future of organic farming.

Despite the recession in early 2009, 97 percent of organic farmers surveyed said they planned on either maintaining or increasing their organic production.

Meg Moynihan, organic and diversification specialist at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, says “They [organic farmers] really see opportunities for the future.”

She said Minnesota farmers are switching to organic farming in stages.  “The really seasoned ones, when they give advise to new-comers they say, ‘Don’t go cold turkey and try to concert your whole farm at once.'” said Moynihan.

Although strides have been made, organic farming still only makes up less than 1 percent of all farming in Minnesota.

Lynn Brakke grows blue corn, soybeans and alfalfa and raises beef on an organic farm by Moorhead.  As a member of the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force, he said he is concerned that the effects of the recession have not been completely felt yet.

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Organic farming, organic farmers, Minnesota organic farmers

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