Director, Emerging Farmers Office, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Lillian Otieno is the first director of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Emerging Farmers Office. Otieno, who most recently served as coordinator for the Emerging Farmers program at the MDA since 2021, has been an MDA employee since 2017. As director, she will direct the work of the Emerging Farmers Office, overseeing engagement and outreach with communities throughout the state, grant programs, and the Emerging Farmers’ Working Group. Otieno previously worked in the Produce Safety Program at the MDA, leading outreach and engagement efforts in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. She is a 2021 graduate of the State’s Emerging Leaders Institute, and also served as a Public Engagement Liaison with the Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan in 2021 and 2022.