Minnesota Farmers Union supports family farmers, youth in agriculture at Minnesota State Fair
Aug. 13, 2019
Since the 1950s, Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) has had a presence at the Minnesota State Fair on the corner of Dan Patch Ave. and Cosgrove St. It became the Farmers Union Coffee Shop in 2003, offering locally roasted coffee and locally grown food. Today, it is a place at the fair for visitors to connect with MFU, our state’s family farmers and their food.
“The Minnesota State Fair’s roots are in agriculture,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “We’re doing our part to honor that by supporting Minnesota family farmers in the food we serve at the Farmers Union Coffee Shop. We make sure customers know where their food is coming from and how much family farmers mean to our state. That’s especially important in this time when farmers face low prices, unpredictable weather, high health care costs, trade disruption and market consolidation, which are causing great stress in agriculture.
“The average Minnesotan is multiple generations removed from the family farm. We help inform consumers about agriculture at the Farmers Union Coffee Shop.”
The Farmers Union Coffee Shop has been a part of the official State Fair New Foods list many times. This year is no exception: The Blueberry Key Lime Pie and Lavender Lemonade are featured among the 2019 selections. MFU partners with local food-focused Birchwood Cafe of Minneapolis on these, as well as on the Heirloom Tomato & Sweet Corn BLT. The BLT, a hit with fairgoers in 2018, will return, now with the option to add an egg. Ingredients are sourced from Minnesota family farmers and businesses who are listed on a map inside the coffee shop.
The full-service coffee shop offers products from two St. Paul businesses: JS Bean Factory’s Farmers Union Farmers Choice Coffee, hot and cold, including the popular Maple Cream Nitro Cold Press Coffee; and Grand Ole Creamery ice cream bars. It will also offer espresso drinks, chai tea, hot chocolate, milk and mocha frappes. All dairy products at the coffee shop are sourced from Stony Creek Dairy in Melrose, Minn.
While reading about MFU and enjoying their treats, fairgoers can listen to local bands performing at the coffee shop and view videos showcasing MFU members and history.
In addition to the coffee shop, MFU participates in many other activities at the Minnesota State Fair. They are:
- Aug. 23, 2:30 p.m.: 26th Annual Celebrity Milking Contest, sponsored by MFU, taking place at the Moo Stage at the Moo Booth.
- Aug. 24, 5:45 p.m.: MFU at the 4-H Purple Ribbon Livestock Auction, taking place at Compeer Arena.
- Aug. 25, 7:45 a.m.: 35th Annual Milk Run 5K, sponsored by MFU, taking place along Randall Ave.
- Aug. 25, 10:30 a.m.: 4-H Dairy Showcase Awards, sponsored by MFU, taking place at Compeer Arena.
- Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: 17th Annual Minnesota Cooks™ Day Program in Dan Patch Park. Fairgoers can pick up free 2020 Minnesota Cooks calendars at the event, as well as at the Farmers Union Coffee Shop any time after it.
- MFU sponsors the championship signs given to 4-H and FFA Grand Champions and the back number cards worn by 4-H and FFA show participants.
The Farmers Union Coffee Shop is at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue, just inside the Snelling Avenue Gate.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).
Minnesota Farmers Union
305 Roselawn Ave. E. #200
St. Paul, MN 55117
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Close at noon on Fridays between Memorial Day & Labor Day