County Agriculture

Traditionally, over 146,379 acres of rural lands have been a combination of cultivated annual row crops, hay, or managed grass lands, range lands, or other managed herbaceous vegetation. This amounts to 37% of the land use within this County. This rich agricultural tradition was started in the 1860’s and 70’s when the townships of Cambridge and Isanti were formed and the development of the railroad corridor begun. This was followed by a potato processing and starch factory on the Rum River in Cambridge in the 1880’s and the Cambridge area had grown into an area with a focus on potato and other row crops. The remnants of this facility are still present in Cambridge City Park today. 

With the emergence of the railroad, local feed mill, and saw mills during this time frame came a local opportunity to sell seed, feed for cattle, vegetable seeds, and building supplies. Currently today there are a few seed distributors in Isanti County and several local vegetable seed dealers. These are the sources for the County’s current day agricultural production mainly centered around corn, soybeans, hay, vegetables, beef cattle, and horse ranches. The County is also home to several tree farms and local nurseries as well. The City of Isanti is home to a local Farmers Market every Friday starting May 31-September 27, in which residents are able to buy locally grown produce and hand crafted foods to help boost the local economy. Braham is famous for it’s annual pie day festival and also hosts a Farmers Market in Freedom Park along Hwy 107 in downtown. Cambridge is also home to a local organic foods store, vegetable coop and Farmers Market. Click here to view information about this market as well and other opportunities and classes on local organic foods, oils, and non-genetically modified products. 

Other popular events centered around agriculture include an annual rodeo in Isanti, which is at the heart of many local horse and ranch enthusiasts and is a large event for rural farmers and all to attend. The Isanti County Fair, Fairgrounds, and local 4H clubs make their home in Cambridge and additional information from our local University of MN Extension Office can be found at the Government Center or click here. 

The County Agriculture Inspector works with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to ensure the state weed, seed law, and plant variety protection act are in compliance and works with local weed inspectors to educate them on rising weed issues to protect the crop lands, pastures, parks, and native prairie, wetlands, and woodland in Isanti County. 

Minnesota State Weed Law 

Minnesota State Seed Law (PDF) 

Additionally, the County partners with other agencies to provide technical assistance and educational outreach to landowners regarding agricultural lands and the interactions of those land uses with the environment.