The Minnesota State Program Navigator was developed in 2018 by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to compile information and program offerings across state agencies that, specifically, rural communities might be interested in accessing. The Navigator includes technical (staff support, education, etc.) and financial (loans, grants, etc.) resources that incentivize or support rural communities in making environmental, sustainability, and community resilience improvements. Programs may be accessed by residents, farmers, businesses, educators, public entities and local governments.
The State Program Navigator was developed in response to the 2016 Rural Climate Dialogue State Convening. The convening gathered rural residents from three counties (Stevens, Itasca, and Winona) and staff from over ten state agencies to discuss how the state government could better integrate rural priorities into their planning, and how rural residents and communities could better access state resources. Participants agreed that accessing state financial and technical resources was difficult given the breadth of programs across different agencies.