Two new Minnesota State Farm Business Instructor positions were created through a grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council.
MAELC is a 16-member legislative council that provides leadership to promote and develop agricultural education in Minnesota. The state legislature, agricultural educators, and agricultural industry leaders are all represented on the council.
Farm Business Management is offered online and in-person at seven Minnesota college campuses as part of the Minnesota State System. Instructors provide one-on-one instruction to farmers and those interested in agriculture, helping students achieve their business and family goals.
MAELC is in its sixth year of providing support through grants to Minnesota farm business management programs. New this year, two Targeted Additional Instructor Grants have been created with the goal of reaching underserved populations.
The Urban Instructor Grant provides total funding of $180,000 over two fiscal years to hire an instructor based in the seven-county metro area. The Specialty Crops Instructor Grant will be the second of its kind in Minnesota, with total support of $70,000 spread over two fiscal years. After a competitive grant application and review process, Central Lakes College was awarded both grants.
“While we have received Supplemental Farm Business Management Instructor grants for several years, the DFATC Board of Directors determined that a more strategic approach was needed to reach our underserved farm populations,” said Sarah Dornink, Director General of the MAELC. “The instructors’ specific focus on the metropolitan geographic area and specialty crop growers will draw more attention to these audiences and provide another avenue to strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural economy.”
Both positions are now open and accepting applicants:
“With the support of MAELC, Central Lakes College will be able to provide agricultural business management training to a variety of students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds,” said Cory Detloff, Director of the Agricultural Center and energy and farm business management at CLC. “By working together, we can begin to fill an existing gap in management training while supporting opportunities for urban and specialty crop production throughout Minnesota.”
DFAIT also continues to invest in farm business management statewide. $3.46 million in FBM Challenge grants have been awarded to Minnesota State Farm Business Management Programs for the current fiscal year to maintain the number of instructors and students in their local program and meet program improvement parameters. These grant funds were made available to MAELC through the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer Grant provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.