Crop and product diversification is a general practice that increases the region’s crop portfolio, so that farmers are not dependent on a single crop to generate their income. Stearns County strongly encourages crop and product diversification to ensure the viability of farming throughout the county and region for years to come.
Stearns County’s role in crop and product diversification is somewhat limited. We can influence crop and product diversification through the education and promotion of sustainable farming practices that result in positive impacts to our economy and environment. As part of this role, the County has placed a greater emphasis on “value-added” products.
The County can support the Department of Agriculture to promote better integration of producers with local retail markets and encourage more diversity in crop production, better local branding, improved cooperative efforts among agricultural producers, and other efforts to add value and lessen risk for the County’s agricultural base.