Food System Policy Scan: Dakota County, Minn.

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Minnesota’s cities and counties govern activities within their municipal boundaries through a wide range of local ordinances and policies. These ordinances and policies can have a tremendous impact on how and where local residents are able to access healthy food and the broader food system beyond the boundaries of a specific city or county. The Public Health Law Center completed a food system policy scan and an analysis of the local ordinances impacting healthy food access in Dakota County:

Dakota County Food System Policy Scan and Analysis (2015)


We also created policy scans of the following cities in Dakota County: Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul.

The individual municipal food system policy scans identify a range of local ordinances that could impact different parts of the food system, from growing and processing food, purchasing food, and disposing of food. A summary guide compiles key information from the municipal ordinances from each of the eleven cities reviewed. Each municipal scan identifies local ordinances governing:

  • Farm animals, including beeking and chickens.
  • Gardening activities, including greenhouses and hoop houses.
  • Restaurants, grocer stores, farmers’ markets, and mobile food vendors.
  • Composting

The policy scans were created on behalf of the Open Door for Homegrown South, and funded through Dakota County Public Health with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.