Responding to talent needs in our region by providing technical services to enable food & agricultural businesses to hire global talent. 

How: For qualifying businesses, GreenSeam will subsidize up to $3,000 of consulting and legal fees with our Legal & Human Resources Partners (below) to prepare your business for the acquisition, retention, and accommodation of foreign-born talent.

Financial Support:  

  • $1,000 grant to support costs with initial consultations (Workforce + Legal Consultants) 
  • 25% match of costs up to $3,000  
    • ExampleIf after the initial consultations, you decide to move forward with the hiring of international talent and the fee is $5,000, we will provide $1,250 of financial assistance. 

Do I Qualify? If you answer “yes” to the following 3 questions, you are eligible to receive financial assistance:

  • Is your business connected directly or indirectly to the food & agriculture sectors? 

This includes the production, processing, marketing, distribution, preparation, and exploration of agricultural and food products, as well as providing supportive products & services to clients who are active in the food & agriculture sectors.

  • Does your business have fewer than 500 FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) employees?
  • Are you located or do you have any affiliation with at least one of the following counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, & Watonwan?

If you are unsure of your eligibility, do not hesitate to reach out.

Holly Callaghan, Economic Development Coordinator

hcallaghan@greenseam.org | 507.514.6182

Example Scenarios

Surity Advisors manages finances for local food processing businesses. They are located in Hennepin County, but several of their clients reside in Sibley and Blue Earth County. Surity has been short-staffed since the pandemic and are desperate to hire at least 2 full-time CPAs before the end of the year. They have already attempted to sponsor a recent finance graduate from Turkey, but they were misinformed on the visa application process and lost their candidate. The owner no longer wishes to pursue global talent because of the anticipated cost to prepare her business. Our program can help Surity Advisors by subsidizing the services of legal & HR experts who can guide the business through each step of the work sponsorship process, including any candidate-specific circumstances.

Squiggly Meat Processors have over a dozen openings for production workers, with very few local, qualified candidates. They know welcoming non-citizens to apply would expand the pool of candidates, but question whether they are prepared to support global hires after the onboarding process. They have received applications from several local international students looking for summer work. Can they provide adequate training resources in a foreign language? Is there adequate transportation and housing available in their area? Our program can help Squiggly Meat Processors navigate these questions by subsidizing HR consulting services that take a comprehensive look at the employee experience when developing a program to attract & retain global talent.

Next Steps

  1. Register by completing intake form by October 6, 2023 (5-10 mins)
  2. A member of GreenSeam will reach out with an introductory phone call (15 mins)
  3. Attend 2 preliminary consultations (45 mins each) – Covered in full by $1000 grant
  4. You will recieve ongoing support from GreenSeam and our consulting partners throughout the development of your business’ Global Workforce Program
  5. Complete exit survey (5-10 mins) – Please note: funds are no longer available after November 2023

Our Consulting Partners

Valerie Johnson

Independent Consultant

Val Johnson is a Human Resources and business leader offering 20+ years of global experience with a proven record of success in developing and delivering strategic programs and capabilities. Her demonstrated strengths include assessing organizational needs and risks, setting strategic direction, and implementing initiatives that take company culture, along with leadership and associate performance from good to great. She possesses exceptional communication skills and the ability to attract, develop and retain high-performance employees and teams.

Erin Schutte Wadzinski

Kivu Immigration Law PLLC

Erin Schutte Wadzinski is an immigration attorney and owner of Kivu Immigration Law PLLC. A native of Worthington, Minnesota, Erin is proud to serve her home community and surrounding area. In 2019, she won the Initiators Fellowship to launch Kivu Immigration Law as a social enterprise to help revitalize rural communities and to provide immigrants access to legal resources.


Description of Services: 

Whether your business is starting from scratch or building upon an existing program, welcoming international professionals into your business can present many complex challenges. From temporary work visa to cultural acclimation and beyond, our consulting partners offer comprehensive support for navigating these challenges compliantly and in a way that seamlessly integrates with your business.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Affiliation

Funded (in-part) through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). We are required to collect certain information (SBA form 3516) from recipients of SBA funds. Through a unique collaborative approach, MBFFA will provide counseling, training, technical assistance, and access to resources for small businesses in south-central Minnesota until November 30th, 2023. Funds are limited and will be granted on a first come, first served basis.

Mainstreet Business Focused on Food and Ag (MBFFA)

This funding would not be possible without the collaboration of our fellow MBFFA spokes. Mainstreet Businesses Focused on Food and Agriculture (MBFFA) project works to enhance sustainability and growth in the agriculture and food-related sector in Region 9. This dynamic, SBA-funded, hub & spoke program enables us to invest in food and ag business with ties to our nine county region in alignment with GreenSeam’s mission. Learn more about the spokes here.