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Minnesota has been innovating in food and agriculture for over 150 years from farm to fork. The state is home to six Fortune 500 companies in food and agriculture, a major land grant university with leading industry researchers, many commodities and specialty crops, non-profits with new models for social impact, and innovative startups solving problems throughout the supply chain.

With so many people working across the industry, Food | Ag | Ideas Week (FAI), led by Grow North and its partners, was created to bring the community together, elevate and connect Minnesota’s ecosystem and create an invitation for the world to engage.

The team at FAI is doing something different. They believe the opportunities and challenges of our food system require all types of problem solvers. That’s why they bring together diverse perspectives including Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, growers, innovators, nonprofits, and investors from Minnesota and across the country.

To better connect rising leaders in food & agriculture with this incredible gathering and community, Make It. MSP. is proud to partner with MANRRS: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences and FAI on a special “Backstage Pass” to Minnesota’s food & agriculture economy. Over three of FAI’s six days this October, students will visit the event, tour local companies, and connect for networking & development sessions with industry leaders.

Here’s a glimpse at what this MANRRS delegation will be up to after they arrive on the University of Minnesota campus on Sunday, October 13:

  • Monday, October 14: Attendees will visit a jam-packed FAI schedule at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul that covers topics including: regenerative agriculture, the future of farming, the indigenous food system, and how e-commerce is transforming the future of retail. With the Minnesota state capitol and downtown Saint Paul nearby, these students will have the opportunity to meet with public and private sector leaders before and after the program.
  • Tuesday, October 15: Day two at FAI brings attendees to the world-renowned Walker Art Center in Minneapolis with programming covering topics such as: Big Data and its impact on farms, consumer trends, food waste, and the evolving world of food protein. That evening, participants will also have the opportunity to attend the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator program’s Demo Day at Union Depot, powered by Ecolab and Cargill.
  • Wednesday, October 16: Attendees’ final day in the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region will include a Make It. MSP. partner breakfast and private tour of one of Minnesota’s signature companies. Participants may also have additional opportunities to visit other innovation events happening throughout the region, including at Twin Cities Startup Week.

Make It. MSP. partners participating in the “Backstage Pass” program will include Grow North, which makes the entire week possible, as well as leaders from Land O’Lakes, Cargill, General Mills, Target, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota and other organizations. Additionally, events throughout FAI are led by leaders from the Canadian Consulate General, The Good Acre, AURI, and many more. Speakers and session details will be announced in the coming weeks.

To learn more about Food | Ag | Ideas Week 2019, please click here. Event photo courtesy of Grow North