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Beekeeping for Beginners - Wednesday, March 10th at 4pm

Click here to join the Zoom meeting or join via phone: +1 346-248-7799‬

Bees are important pollinators and there is nothing like honest, natural honey from your own backyard. For our next topic presentation, join the Northland Food Network for a beginner beekeeping panel to learn how to get started in this rising local food trend, and to hear what it takes to keep bees happy in northeastern Minnesota, with some storytelling on what it is like in Missouri from a new Ely, MN resident. You can read about our three presenters below.

Joseph Coffey is a co-owner of C&C Apiaries, a commercial beekeeping operation with apiaries in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He’s been beekeeping for 11 years and has memberships with multiple beekeeping associations, including the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association. Joseph has taught all sorts of bee-related classes, from introductory beekeeping, to breeding techniques, to apiary management strategies for experienced beekeepers.

Janna Goedt lives in Embarrass and has kept bees for about 19 years (but who’s counting?), usually successfully but sometimes not. She doesn’t mind getting stung anymore, unless it's on the face because that really hurts. She likes eating honey but her favorite part about keeping bees is watching them in and outside of the hive -- they are completely fascinating creatures. Also she is a magical honey maid!

Stephanie Hibdon lives in Ely, MN. She recently moved to the northland from Missouri where she took care of her bees in partnership on a farmer friends' land. Stephanie says she is just learning what it takes to bee-keep in our neck of the woods and is excited to learn from others through the Northland Food Network. Stephanie is happy to share her knowledge of what the experience is like in Missouri.

Thank you, Kelsey Gantzer!

Kelsey started with the project in 2018, working to support and grow existing initiatives to make healthy, local food accessible for all. By connecting with many talented community partners, Kelsey was able to expand the Rutabaga Project's programming. By the 2020 Farmers Market Season, the Rutabaga Project and AEOA were able to help Virginia, Hibbing, Cook, and Tower farmers markets accept EBT/SNAP (food support) dollars and provided $10 matches through the Hunger Solutions Market Bucks Program. Kelsey also assisted with making sure the Power of Produce $2 program for kids to try new veggies and fruits was a success.

At the end of 2018, the Rutabaga Project began working with the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) to make healthy eating and local food more accessible for community members around the Iron Range. Early SHIP initiatives included promoting healthy food in corner stores and supporting farm to school programming at Virginia High School and Mesabi East School District. During her time, Kelsey progressed the Rutabaga Project's mission by earning a competitive USDA Farmers Market Promotion grant to bring more resources into the region for farmers markets and local food producers. Through this, Kelsey also launched two local food workgroups, one planning Consumer Education outreach and the other called "Shovel-Ready Projects," which initiated the NFN's Local Food and Farm event.

At the start of the pandemic, Kelsey connected USDA Farmers to Families Food Box distributors with AEOA's dedicated staff and volunteers, which brought in over $1 million of food resources to families in need.

Kelsey has started a new position at the Duluth Community School Collaborative as its Executive Director. From those of us at the Rutabaga Project, AEOA, local farmers market vendors, and community health boards - we wish Kelsey the very best on her next endeavors.

Congrats to the top 3 and runners up in the Local Food and Farm Projects!

Of the 17 project proposals submitted to NFN, seven finalists were invited to present at the February 19th virtual community event, with the chance to win a portion of a $10,000 grant. Community voting determined the top three projects: the Wild Rice Processing Facility (Finland, MN), Community Cold Storage (Cook County), and Love's Hemp House (Gheen, MN). All seven finalists will have access to free business development services through the generous support of the Entrepreneur Fund. We also give a special thank you to Healthy Foods Healthy Lives for their financial support to launch these new projects this year.

Join NFN’s Consumer Education Campaign Workgroup

We meet on Zoom the first Wednesday of every month at 4pm. We’re always interested in hearing from community members. Join our Zoom meetings by clicking the button below or by calling +1 346-248-7799‬. This information will also be on NFN’s Facebook page.

Join the Consumer Education Campaign Zoom meeting

What is the Northland Food Network?

The Northland Food Network supports regional food production, access, and education to improve the health and resilience of the Northland’s people, economy, and environment.

Goal: Produce and consume 25% local food by 2025
Action Steps:

  • Improve Access to Capital

  • Create a regional Vision

  • Encourage More Producers

  • Increase Farm-To-School

  • Impact Legislation

Join us! Connect with others in the region who are working to increase local food production and consumption. Together, let’s create the networks of support that ensure long-term sustainable food access in NE MN.

We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 4pm-5pm via Zoom.

For more information, contact David Abazs dwabazs@umn.edu or Brian Bluhm atbluhmb@stlouiscountymn.gov

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