Farmers, brewers and food makers are also marketers, accountants, managers, educators and more. In order to grow, it helps to have outside perspective and some subject matter experts on your side. The Feast! Smart Start Initiative was a one-year pilot program beginning in 2017. It supports farm and food entrepreneurs through technical assistance and customized, transformational coaching. 




Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is accepting applications from organizations to receive up to $10,000 to implement FEAST! Smart Start in their community. Up to 4 applicants will receive a total of up to $40,000 to support individual farm and food entrepreneurs through a defined, structured technical assistance and customized, transformational coaching process.

Strong food economies are dependent upon successful entrepreneurs. These individuals start and expand small scale farms, production and processing facilities, distribution hubs, and food transportation systems. This also includes small town grocers, local cafés and restaurants, caterers and food service businesses all of which specialize in including local foods on their shelves or menus.

Because these individuals who make up the food ecosystem are so important to the future of local food consumption and our agricultural economy, SMIF has created this special grant opportunity to build resources for creating a sustainable and resilient food economy for southern Minnesota. Business financing is important to success, but financing alone does not provide business leaders with the business acumen needed to develop and sell products and create jobs. 

For more information, click here

2018 Timeline

  • Application Due: May 15, 2018
  • Grant Awards Made: June 15, 2018



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