New Partnership to Help Agri-Businesses in Minnesota – And You Can Help!

New from the MN SBA…

New Partnership to Help Agri-Businesses in Minnesota 

SCORE and USDA have partnered to help the ag community in Minnesota.  SCORE is adding a focus area with its volunteer network to work with farmers and ranchers across the country. Minnesota is part of the pilot program to provide free and confidential business mentoring and more to people seeking support in the early stages of building a farm/ranch business or in growing their current operation.

There are thousands of new and established agri businesses that could benefit from professional support. SCORE with its highly experienced business personnel is in an ideal position to offer this support. Initially the program will be managed by SCORE National. Five states, including Minnesota, are part of the pilot program.

In Minnesota, SCORE will conduct mentoring activities both in person and electronically, host training classes and offer general support to small agri businesses. It will work through the Farm Service agency, a division of USDA.

SCORE is looking for people in three categories:

Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
If you are a business owner or ready to start an agri business, let SCORE help you start or grow your business.

Business Advisors
If you are in the business of helping other businesses and have a client that you feel could benefit from working with a SCORE volunteer, please send them our way for free mentoring and classes.

New Volunteers
Do you have experience in farming or the industries that support ag?  SCORE would love to talk with you about how you could help their efforts by being a volunteer.

No matter which of the three above you are, SCORE stands ready to help. You can contact SCORE at www.score.org or call or email Marshall Jones at 612-345-4635, mjones5724 at aol.com.

Getting set up will be simple and quick.

Agricultural research and promotion councils announce open positions

Are you involved in agriculture? If you are you have an opportunity to shape the industry. The Litchfield Independent Review recently ran a list of openings for ag-related councils. Farmers interested in running in the election must contact their respective commodity council listed by Monday, March 27. Candidates should be producers of the commodity they represent, be active in the industry, knowledgeable about promotion initiatives, and interested in representing growers in their region. Positions open in our area include:

  • Minnesota Canola Council Statewide
  • Minnesota Dry Bean Research and Promotion Council District 4
  • Minnesota Sunflower Council District 2

Portable restaurants an interesting perspective for LqP

Food trucks are all the rage these days. Adults love them almost as much as kids love ice cream trucks. Minnesota Business Magazine tells the story of how one of Minneapolis’ oldest family restaurant got wheels…

With decades of accumulated foodservice experience, scaling Market Bar-B-Que’s operation to a truck-sized platform turned out not to be too hard. (Certainly easier than scaling up from truck to restaurant, like dozens of intrepid food truck owners have over the past few years.) Steve and Anthony had plenty of help from local contractors, too — friendly electricians and lighting technicians happily outfitted the truck with the restaurant’s signature marquee and jukebox.

The Polskis underestimated the amount of red tape they’d have to cut to get their truck up and running, but they were fortunate to have help on that front too. They tapped Winthrop & Weinstine, a local law firm that’s advised restaurant owners for years, for help with the city of Minneapolis’s nearly 200-page application.

Lead attorney Jordan Humphrey helped the Polskis navigate thorny code and compliance requirements that, surprise surprise, are way less fun than cooking and serving delicious barbecue. With his help, Market Bar-B-Que is on track to debut its truck at Fulton Brewery on April 15 — coinciding with the week of the Twins home opener.

“If you want to start a food truck, plan for the process to take longer than you might think. Restaurant entrepreneurs are often surprised by how long the plan approvals and licensing process can actually take,” says Humphrey, who advises food truck clients to start planning as early as possible and not let up until opening day. “One secret to helping this process move smoothly: Work with an expert to procure the proper equipment for your truck that meets all food and health code requirements. [That] can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.”