2016 finalist

This project has been selected as as a finalist in the Food Stewardship category:

From the ground up north

Project Summary

From the Ground (FTG) Up North is an educational initiative focused on highlighting sustainable agriculture-based businesses, grassroots organizations, nonprofits, programs, policies, educators, advocates and artists in the Upper Midwest with a focus on both urban and rural spaces and the connections in between.

FTG Up North serves as a digital resource hub for those interested in learning more about farmers, urban agriculturalists, ecological landscape designers, food-based organizations and opportunities to get involved in a thriving local food scene and economy Up North. FTG Up North is based in the Twin Cities and focuses on highlighting people and places throughout greater Minnesota and Wisconsin.

FTG Up North is dedicated to cultivating awareness of healthy food, healthy environments and healthy communities through story telling, advocacy and resource sharing in order to inspire and empower others to become stewards of the land and one another.

Project Website


Project Partners

  • Sandbox Center for Regenerative Entrepreneurship
  • Dream of Wild Health
  • Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture
  • Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply
  • Coulee Region Ecoscapes
  • Mighty Axe Hops
  • Hazelnut Valley Farm
  • Growing West Side
  • Spark-Y
  • Powderhorn Feed Co.

How did the project partners work together?

Project partners serve as feature story participants each month and their personal/organizational work is highlighted in From the Ground Up North profiles. Feature stories depict each project partner's origins, areas of sustainable agriculture expertise and plans for future growth. Each project partner's specific areas of sustainable agriculture focus are defined in FTG Up North stories and serve as an educational tool for our supporters. Project partners are involved in an hour long interview process where they share information and narratives regarding their sustainable agriculture work, mission and values followed by a photo shoot of people involved, their spaces and services or products. Project partners receive free marketing and publicity through monthly feature stories and aid in spreading the word about their work and FTG Up North's mission through social media post story link sharing.

How is the project groundbreaking?

This project is the culmination of over a decade of FTG Up North Founder Matt Frank's involvement in environmental and sustainable agriculture education, research and activism in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin regions. It serves as a one-stop shop for individuals interested in learning more about the area's diverse network of sustainable agriculture farmers, practitioners, researchers, educators, activists and businesses. The FTG Up North website is free, accessible and science-based. It contains feature stories profiling project partners in addition to a local foods, farms and businesses map, resource tools (including links to recommended sustainable agriculture books, blogs, magazines, policies, publications, organizations and videos), research reports and third-party hosted community events. Our digital resource hub provides access to information and opportunities for getting involved in a thriving local food scene and economy throughout greater Minnesota and Wisconsin. It also serves as a way to support people and places carrying out agricultural and environmental stewardship practices. Prior to this project, no other digital outlet existed that compiled regional sustainable agriculture resources and narratives in an accessible, visually compelling manner.

What are the project goals?

The goals of this project are to educate, inspire and empower others to become stewards of the land and one another. In order to accomplish this goal, the project provides necessary resources and narratives at no cost. It is the hope that supporters of this project learn something new about agricultural and environmental stewardship, engage in their respective local communities to affect positive change, and ultimately serve as role models for their efforts to impact human and environmental health issues. Additional goals of the project include establishing ongoing relationships between local consumers and local producers, suppliers and businesses in order to strengthen local economies and support the people and organizations that are involved in agricultural and environmental stewardship on a daily basis.

What are the project outcomes?

Intended project outcomes include education, inspiration, empowerment and activism in the areas of social, food and environmental justice. FTG Up North strongly believes that everyone, no matter their race, age, income or educational level deserves fair access to healthy food and healthy environments in which to live. Another intended project outcome is to raise awareness of the current inequities that exist within the agricultural field and our current mainstream food systems.

Event Details

Thursday, May 25, 2017
5:00 - 5:45 p.m. Registration & reception
5:45 - 8:00 p.m. Dinner & program
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. Dessert & reception 

Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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Presenting Sponsors

Environmental Lay Group

Great River Energy

Reception sponsor

25th Anniversary Sponsors


Community Action

Critical Collaborator

Stoel Rives LLP

Emerging Leader


Energy and Climate

The Weidt Group

Natural Resources

Sustainable Business

Supporting Sponsors

Minnesota Power

partner SPONSORs

In-kind sponsors


CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Consulate General of Canada

Rochester Public Utilities

Associate Sponsors

Bremer Bank
G & K Services
Nova Consulting
Smith Partners