Join us for the Food & Farming Exhibit 

at the

“Great Minnesota Get-Together!”

August 24 - September 4, 2023


For over a decade, Renewing the Countryside has curated an interactive, educational food & farming exhibit at the Eco Experience - the award-winning sustainability expo which draws over 250,000 over the twelve days of the fair. Our exhibit includes kids activities, three daily cooking demonstrations, and local food sampling, as well as a poster display on our theme of the year (more on that below)!

We still have volunteer spots open for Monday, Sept. 4! 

Whether it’s handing out samples of dishes from our featured chefs, facilitating engaging activities celebrating MN-grown produce or lending a hand with food prep, volunteering at the Fair is a rewarding experience that helps to connect fairgoers with vital information about supporting local food systems and a more resilient future. Volunteers also get perks—an admittance ticket to the State Fair for the day you volunteer and an RTC limited-edition ‘local food’ organic cotton t-shirt!

Volunteer shifts are an average of three hours and are available in shifts from 9am to 7:30pm.




2023 Theme: Preserving Farmland for a Resilient Future

With more farmers aging out of farming and the increased repurposing of farmland for other uses, studies show 40% of MN farmland will be in a state of transition over the next 10-15 years.

While the cost of land continues to rise, so do the legitimate concerns on how land use will impact our soil, water and air, as well as food access and economic resilience in communities around the state. Thankfully, we've seen that people across Minnesota want to see an increase in farmland access for beginning and emerging farmers. We know that getting more farmers on the land will help strengthen local markets, communities and our ecosystem alike. Renewing the Countryside’s Preserving Farmland for a Resilient Future exhibit uplifts these ideas and explores ways that we can address this pressing and increasingly urgent issue together.   

The exhibit features storytelling that speaks to issues and solutions around farmland preservation and resilience playing out today and what we hope to see in the future. True to the theme, the array of activities we're coordinating also features Minnesota farmers and food-makers who will be sampling their products, hands-on activities for kids to learn more about MN-grown produce, daily demonstrations by celebrated Minnesotan chefs who will teach us their favorite recipes using MN ingredients, daily movie and local popcorn nights, and more!

Daily Schedule Overview (see details below) 

  • 11-3pm: Minnesotan farmers and food-makers will be sampling their newest and most celebrated products!
  • 11am, 1pm, 3pm: celebrated chefs, food-makers and cooks from across Minnesota will be demonstrating how to make their favorite recipes using Minnesotan ingredients, sharing samples and stories.
  • 8am-8pm - Farmland preservation for resilient communities exhibit, local produce-themed kids activities and more!
  • 7pm - movie screenings (with local popcorn) 






2023 Cooking Demonstration Schedule
All demos take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm!

Thursday, August 24 Patrice Johnson Nordic Food Geek + Author, Land of 10,000 Plates   
Friday, August 25 Chad Simons Entrepreneur at 3 Cricketeers  
Saturday, August 26 Scott Graden New Scenic Cafe  
Sunday, August 27 Cassie Rogers Greener Pastures  
Monday, August 28 Beth Dooley Cookbook Author & Instructor, Beth Dooley's Kitchen  
Tuesday, August 29 Zach Lind Driftless Trading Post  
Wednesday, August 30 Yum Power HealthPartners  
Thursday, August 31 Ray Roberts People's Organic  
Friday, September 1 Elly Urban Roots  
Saturday, September 2 Tiffany Alexandria Choochoo-ca-Chew  
Sunday, September 3 Peter Lowe Block North Brew Pup  
Monday, September 4 Tammy Wong Chef at Rainbow Chinese Restaurant  


The Healthy Local Food exhibit is made possible by our generous partners!

2023 Schedule of Sampler Partners

Every day from 9am to 3pm: The Meatery!

  9am - 3pm 11am - 3pm
Thursday, August 24 The Meatery Lovejoy's Bloody Mary Mix
Friday, August 25 The Meatery 3 CricketeersSailor Mercy elderberry products
Saturday, August 26 The Meatery 3 CricketeersSailor Mercy elderberry products
Sunday, August 27 The Meatery Tree Range Farms pastured chicken
Monday, August 28 The Meatery Kinney Mini Farms, Tree Range Farms pastured chicken
Tuesday, August 29 The Meatery Co-op Partners Warehouse, featuring Featherstone Farm produce
Wednesday, August 30 The Meatery J's Kombucha
Thursday, August 31 The Meatery P&TY Granola
Friday, September 1 The Meatery Kinney Mini Farms
Saturday, September 2 The Meatery Mostly Made ready-made meal starters, Taiwanese Sausages
Sunday, September 3 The Meatery Lost Capitol Foods hot sauce, Mostly Made ready-made meal starters
Monday, September 4 The Meatery Mostly Made ready-made meal starters




2022 Theme: Farm to Early Care, Farm to School

Our children are our future!

We're so thrilled to be able to work with a variety of Early Care providers, connecting them with healthy food from local farms, as well as Pint Size Produce information and activities. That's why these programs are called "Farm to Early Care and Education"! When you visit this year's Healthy Local Food Exhibit, you'll be able to see spotlights on some of these providers and the inspiring images of children in gardens. 



There are so many great books that can help children learn about gardening, local food, and where our food comes from. Here's a list of farm to early care books by BIPOC authors that we recommend as an easy way to approach food topics.




Past Healthy Local Food Exhibits

2021 Summary Report and Climate Change display

2019 Summary Report and Artisan Grain Exhibition display

2018 Summary Report and Best If Used exhibit display

2017 Summary Report and Organic exhibit display

2016 Summary Report and Forever Green exhibit display

2015 Summary Report and AGRIculture exhibit display

2014 Summary Report and Grow A Farmer Overview

2013 Summary Report


Gallery of past exhibits: see photos of the 2015 and 2016 Local Food Exhibits here 

Favorite fair recipes from our Chef Demonstrations here