Local orchards in Southeast Minnesota had a problem. They had no market for the their number 2 Haralson apples. The Regional Sustainable Development Partnership’s Southeast regional group took on the challenge bringing together orchard owners and faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Food Science Department and Carlson School of Management.
The solution they worked out was for the orchard owners to link with Lunds and Byerly’s Grocery Markets in the Twin Cities area to provide Haralson apples for Byerly’s Signature apple pie.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Food Systems Professions Education (FSPE) initiative helped the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) link up with University of Minnesota faculty to vision the need for establishing the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, which is now a MISA project funded by the State of Minnesota. The partnership, formed in 1997, has five organized regional partnerships that have funded more than 182 projects for a total of approximately $3 million. The five regions are collaborating on three major community/university ventures: local food economies, energy self-reliance and appreciating rural assets.
For more information on the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships project, check out it’s Web site at www.regionalpartnerships.umn.edu.