The Crow River Food Council

The Crow River Food Council promotes healthy eating that maximizes the use of local, regional, and seasonal food produced with sustainable practices and creates prosperous communities in our region.

We are focusing on strategies that make it easier to purchase fruits and vegetables, support local farms, grow our local food system and address the wide range of challenges and disparities faced when trying to eat a healthy diet.

This effort is part of a growing network of efforts across our region and across the country that aim to improve healthy eating and address issues of food equity while building strong, prosperous communities. See the MN Food Charter to learn more about similar efforts across our state.

The Crow River Food Council is funded by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Funding and conducted in partnership with LiveWright.

Food Council Working Groups

Program and outreach work is done by our working groups.
Learn more and consider joining one of the Working Groups.

Announcements

The Crow River Food Council is a fun and active group helping create more opportunities for all residents in Wright County and the greater Crow River area to enjoy healthy, local food.

We are not currently accepting new members but will do so in the future. To be notified, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Education

    The Education Working Group has created strong partnerships with the Buffalo Hospital/Allina Healthy System and the Local Roots Food Co-op. Together we have a coordinated a series of cooking classes. We have lots more ideas and welcome your participation. Click here to learn more.

  • Farmers Market Working Group

    The Farmers Market Working Group has been working to promote and help strengthen the great farmers markets in our area. Recently, we helped create the Power of Produce Kids Club at the Monticello and Delano farmers market. We will continue to support this exciting initiative while we continue to expand our efforts to promote healthy, local food and our area farmers.

  • Mapping the Crow River food system

    We are developing a comprehensive directory of local food producers, retailers, distributors and other facets of our region’s food system.
    Stay tuned!

Upcoming Events

april

No Events

may

thu3may5:00 pmSHARE Food Drop5:00 pm Monticello High School

Meet the Food Council Members

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Jeff Aldrich

Jeff grew up on a dairy farm in Buffalo, studied, lived, and worked elsewhere for several years, and returned to Buffalo with his family in 2003. He has had his own software consulting business since 1995, but recently most of his projects and focus have been in food+tech. He co-founded Pollin8r, a resilient food system collaborative, and Provender, a farm-to-restaurant start-up based in Montreal. He and his family recently started a market garden business, Mana Gardens, dedicated to growing and providing healthy food to the local community.

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Stacy Besonen

I am a Clinic Exercise Physiologist and Mom of 3 active boys! Passionate about Food As Medicine and the impact of food on the health and wellness of our community! I work at Buffalo Hospital in the Wellness Department and I have seen the impact food has on Chronic Diseases, preventing, reversing and causing the disease itself! I believe there are foods that harm and foods that help, and your body will always let you know, becoming your own advocate when it comes to food is freeing and healing!

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Mary Jane Miller

Mary Jane is a chef and food scientist. She consults with corporate clients on menu, recipe, and product development. Her clients include Target Corporation, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee, and Betty Crocker Test Kitchens. She is a frequent guest chef at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence where she also volunteers her time to plant and maintain the vegetable garden with the Crow River SFA, of which she is a board member. Mary Jane also enjoys doing cooking demos as a regular guest on KSTP Twin Cities Live.

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Gary Cobus

Gary Cobus lives in St. Michael and has been a Wright County Master Gardener since 2000. He is the current Wright County Master Gardener newsletter publisher and webmaster for the group. His gardening interests include growing New Mexican Chiles, Backyard Composting, Backyard Beekeeping, Permaculture, writing about gardening issues, and Sustainable Farming. He is also a certified Minnesota Tree Care Advisor.

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Ellie Vanasse

During her undergrad at the College of St. Benedict, Ellie discovered a love for growing, cooking, and sharing local food while working at Common Ground Garden. After graduating from the nursing program, she moved from western Wisconsin to Buffalo and works for Wright County as a Public Health Nurse. Part of her job is to pioneer and support initiatives that promote healthy eating in the community. Ellie enjoys cheering for Wisconsin’s sports teams, reading, playing volleyball, and spending time at her family’s cabins.

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Katie Henson

Katie Henson is a Registered Dietitian and is employed at General Mills. She enjoys learning about the food industry as well as food labeling, claim regulations and regenerative agriculture but is also passionate about eating for health, including locally sourced whole foods. She enjoys gardening, reading, camping and beach days with her husband and two children.

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Rachael Lawler

Rachael is a lifelong resident of the Crow River region and currently lives in Buffalo where she works as a graphic designer and marketer. A love of food and eating led her to seek out the best local foods and along the way, she realized the lack of access to fresh, local food for everyone in our region. Rachael enjoys gardening, yoga and spending time with her husband and son.

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Connie Carlson

Connie lives and works in Buffalo as a marketing and communications professional. Food, farming, the land and community have been a part of her life since growing up on a farm in west central Minnesota. She serves as president of Local Roots Food Co-op and sits on the Crow River Sustainable Farming Association board as well. Connie thrives on building on good ideas, creating connections and finding solutions that make our community more livable for everyone.

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Rod Greder

Rod Greder, Ph.D. is the U of M-Extension Agriculture and Horticulture Educator for Wright County. Rod focuses mostly on the Master Gardener program, local foods, small farms and alternative crops and animals systems. He owns and operates a farm in Pine County that direct markets grass-fed beef, goat, lamb and poultry. He worked over 20 years in agribusiness and appreciates the complexity of today's food production system. His mission is to bring a research-based, science-driven approach to food policy and action.

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Sue Eull

As a Registered Nurse and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Sue supports clients to navigate a healthy path. She believes education about healthy food options is vital for individuals to live and achieve healthier lifestyles. Her hope and vision is to have people understand what real food is, where it comes from, and how it can impact the health of individuals, families, and communities. Additionally, Sue is owner of Eull’s Health Coaching, LLC, serves on the Wright County Public Health Task Force, plus, co-founded and co-directed an educational non-profit.

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Kristi Varner

Information coming soon!

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Sue Spike

Information coming soon!

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Colleen Wolbeck

Colleen Wolbeck started Colleen's Greens in 2015 after growing up on a farm and earning a degree in Horticulture. Colleen specializes in growing microgreens, which she grows all year round. She also has a large garden where she grows a variety of produce. She also had an ever expanding brood of chickens. Although not certified organic, Colleen uses only organic practices and non-GMO organically sourced seed. She is also the Manager of The Rockford Farmer's Market, along with being a stay at home mom, which she loves.