Local Emergency Assistance Farmer Fund

Created to empower emerging farmers with enhanced market access opportunities, our LEAFF program provides participants with the technical support needed to prepare for wholesale production. The produce purchased through LEAFF is then donated to hunger relief organizations serving the Twin Cities and beyond.

Applications for LEAFF are closed for the 2024 growing season. Sign up to be notified when applications open up again.

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Program focus

What LEAFF Does for Others

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Wholesale Readiness

LEAFF was created in 2020 to help small-scale emerging farmers survive the loss of their typical markets due to the pandemic. Now, LEAFF serves as a state-funded farm-to-food shelf program, a proven on-ramp to wholesale market access, and a catalyst for upward economic mobility for the farmers in the program. LEAFF is not a grant, but a guarantee to buy a set dollar amount of produce from the farmers accepted into the program. 

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Hunger Relief Support

The food procured through our LEAFF program is generously donated to food shelves and other hunger relief organizations committed to providing fresh and culturally relevant produce to their communities. Our hunger relief partners concentrate on areas where access to healthy foods has been limited and in neighborhoods with a higher density of BIPOC residents, recognizing that rates of food insecurity disproportionately impact these populations.



Get the Support You Need to Succeed

Please apply by February 19th, 2024.

Did you know?

Since LEAFF began in 2020, we have purchased $1,160,000 in produce from 120 emerging farmers. This translates to over 635,000 pounds of fresh produce donated to our hunger relief partners. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the purpose of LEAFF?

The Good Acre’s LEAFF program is a pathway to wholesale market access for emerging farmers in Minnesota. Participants in the LEAFF program receive hands-on technical support to help them get ready to grow for wholesale markets. LEAFF is unique in that the program is accessible, useful, and responsive to the unique needs of emerging farmers. With state funding and support from donors,  farmers are compensated with market prices for over 100 different crops, including many that are culturally relevant to Asian and African communities. The produce supplied by farmers in the program is then donated to hunger relief organizations serving the Twin Cities and beyond.

How can individuals offer support?

Make a donation today! You can also help spread the word about the program to your network, contact us for a tour, or call your state legislators and ask them to support state funding for LEAFF. You can also fill out this form to support with our advocacy efforts. 

Can someone translate this page for me?

Yes! To have this page translated to Somali, Hmong or other Southeast Asian languages, contact Xiong Thao. For Spanish, contact Aaron Blyth.

Is this program open to any farmer?

The application is currently open to any farmers who fall into the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s definition of an emerging farmer (PDF). Applications to the LEAFF program are open to all emerging farmers. The number of participants is dependent on program funding. 

Acceptance into LEAFF will be determined through a lottery system for completed applications that illustrate:

  • A demonstrated plan for growing produce
  • Prior experience or training in Minnesota for produce farming
  • Experience with marketing or growing according to quality standards
  • Ability to respond to communication and show up to meetings when required
  • Ability to meet the logistical requirements of delivery time, invoicing, and weekly quantity limits
  • Understanding of the LEAFF tiered system and willingness to grow with The Good Acre
How much produce will you buy from me?

If accepted into the program, the quantity of produce we will purchase from you depends on your assigned tier for the 2024 season:

  • Tier 1: We will procure up to $5,000, with a weekly delivery cap not exceeding $500.

  • Tier 2: We will procure up to $7,500, with a weekly delivery cap not exceeding $750.

  • Tier 3: This tier is applicable to all farmers with growing contracts at The Good Acre. LEAFF funds will amount to 10% of your total contracted value for the 2024 season. These funds offer a form of insurance and are designed to be flexible. If a contracted farmer faces crop failure or is unable to fulfill a contracted item for any reason, they can maintain overall contract revenue and swap crops, mitigating excess in other crops on their farms.

When will I find out if I’m accepted into the program?

Farmers who apply for LEAFF will receive notification of acceptance into the program by Friday, February 23, 2024.


If I’m accepted, when can I start selling produce to the program?

We will begin accepting LEAFF produce deliveries the week of Monday, June 10th 2024 through the end of October.

What produce can I sell to the program?

We will buy whatever produce you wish to sell each week, provided it is on our 2024 Wholesale List.

How must produce be packaged?

Produce must be packaged according to the 2024 Wholesale List. All produce is priced by the full case. Smaller quantities and mixed boxes will not be accepted.

Where and when do I deliver produce?

Produce is delivered to The Good Acre, 1790 Larpenteur Ave. W. Falcon Heights, MN 55113. Receiving days and times for 2024 are 8am – 3pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Not seeing your question answered here?


LEAFF Status Dashboard

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program contacts

We’re Here to Help

For questions about the LEAFF program or application, contact:
Xiong Thao
For LEAFF program advocacy, contact:
Nikki Warner


Equity in the Food System

LEAFF partners recognize that our food system was built through the systemic oppression of BIPOC communities, farmers, and consumers and that it continues to be inequitable. Our goal is to provide resources and support to BIPOC farmers to eliminate barriers to success and provide connections to new wholesale markets. We are committed to providing produce purchased through the LEAFF program to organizations supporting those facing hunger and food insecurity in Minnesota.
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Thanks to Our Program Partners

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