GreenSeam Launches New Global Workforce Program to Address Talent Shortages

    June 5th, 2023

    GreenSeam Region – GreenSeam is excited to announce the launch of their Global Workforce Program, connecting small food and agricultural businesses in the region to technical services for onboarding non-U.S. citizens. GreenSeam’s 2023 State of Ag Survey identified a shortage of talent as the primary inhibitor of business growth in food and ag industries, and this program was developed in response.

    As a member of the MNSU-hosted Mainstreet Businesses Focused on Food and Agriculture (MBFFA) Program, GreenSeam is offering up to $3,000 for the cost of legal fees and Human Resources (HR) consulting fees for qualifying businesses seeking international talent.

    If a business has 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, any affiliation with Region 9 counties (Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan), and any connection to food or agriculture, they may qualify for support. Financial support includes two fully paid, 45-minute sessions with GreenSeam’s HR expert and immigration attorney partners, valued at $1,000. For any additional sessions, GreenSeam will cover 25% of fees incurred, up to $2,000.

    “GreenSeam is excited to announce the Global Workforce Program after a series of Global Workforce Roundtables where businesses voiced a need for this type of support. Current projections tell us the talent shortage won’t likely be overcome using traditional recruitment approaches. Many international candidates are already here in our universities and would love to call Minnesota home. We don’t even need to convince them to brave our winters.” – Sam Ziegler, Director of GreenSeam


    Accepting applications now through September 2023 on a first come, first served basis. Unused funds expire on November 30, 2023.

    GreenSeam’s Partners

    Erin Schutte Wadzinski is GreenSeam’s legal partner for this program. She is an immigration attorney and owner of Kivu Immigration Law in Worthington. “I’m excited to partner with HR expert Valerie Johnson and employers across Minnesota. This partnership aims to craft business solutions that utilize the immigration system and unlock international talent to address labor needs in our region.”

    Garrett Lieffring is a business relations partner and has worked with Kivu since December 2022. “There are many misconceptions around hiring international talent and this grant is a fantastic opportunity for employers to take their ‘first step.’ If you are hiring and struggling to find candidates, now is a great time to understand the logistics and feasibility when considering and hiring an international workforce.”

    Valerie Johnson is an independent HR consultant partnering on the Global Workforce Program with over 20 years of global HR and business leadership experience. From high-level management expertise to nitty-gritty operational insights, she can guide your business through the process of integrating international hires. “This program is critical to supporting the employment needs within our agriculture community. I am thrilled to partner with Erin and Garrett to provide an understanding of the possibilities in operationalizing this program for employers.”

    To apply for support or for more information, visit

    About GreenSeam:

    Our mission is to elevate our region as the world class food & ag epicenter. To strategically build on and connect the region’s extensive agricultural business assets in order to develop and position this region to be known, nationally and internationally, as the place for talent, business, innovation, and education in agriculture. GreenSeam focuses on business retention and development, business attraction and creation, talent development, retention, and attraction, and regional branding and promotion. GreenSeam is a business unit of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG).

    Powered by the Small Business Administration (SBA): The Global Workforce Program is funded (in-part) through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).