This workshop series will provide people who grow and enjoy locally produced food with information on how to form partnerships to develop food hubs and food cooperatives.
For event resources, please visit the Food Hub and Co-ops: How Local Family Farms Can Feed Our Communities
Kansas Farmers Union and the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas are offering new and aspiring farmers an opportunity to visit nine Kansas and Missouri farms and learn from educators, producers and other experts about topics ranging from farm food safety to business planning. The Summer Fun Farm Tour Series runs every other Monday in August and includes stops across the northeastern region of the state, a local foods lunch, networking, and an educational session. There is no cost to participate. "Farm tours combined with a workshop topic provide useful information for producers at any level of experience. These three days are geared for beginning and aspiring individuals who want to farm,” said Mary Howell, membership specialist for Kansas Farmers Union. “Experienced farmers and ranchers will share their own story and what works for them to provide ideas the attendees can take home and apply. No farmer has enough time or money to try everything on their own. The networking among producers provides shared farming experiences and valuable intelligence that makes the learning curve less severe and the farm more successful," Howell explained. The nine featured farms – many operated by beginning farmers and military veterans – raise everything from fruits [...]
The second workshop in the Food Hubs and Co-ops: How local family farms can feed our communities series will be offered August 29, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Douglas County Fair’s Dreher Building, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. The workshop will provide farmers, community organizations, and local governmental entities with information on the multiple phases of food hub development. Using the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative as a case study, the workshop will explore best practices in food hub development and outline the project phases including: identifying opportunities and need, conducting a feasibility study, developing a business plan, and launching the food hub. “With numerous Kansas food hub initiatives in various stages of development, we are so fortunate to have representatives that are able to share the back story of the Wisconsin project from research to launch,” stated Mary Howell, Membership Specialist with the Kansas Farmers Union. Scheduled speakers include Kathy Nyquist, a principle at New Venture Advisors, and Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) Special Projects Coordinator Sarah Lloyd. Kathy Nyquist is strategy consultant providing business development services for regional food system coalitions and entrepreneurs. As principal of New Venture Advisors, she has led multiple feasibility studies which investigated [...]
Part one of Food Hubs and Co-ops: How local family farms can feed our communities, Establishing an Online Food Cooperative, was held April 6 in Hiawatha. The workshop provided a look at food co-ops and local food in general. Darryl Birkenfeld, with Ogallala Commons, explained how his community in the Texas panhandle created enthusiasm about local food. They created and posted weekly to a blog and Facebook page, called Local Llano. The Facebook page and email lists were used to promote the site. Birkenfeld said the blog is about local food: what can be grown in the area, gardening tips, recipes, stories about local growers, and canning/preserving. “Our society is changing how we look at food,” Birkenfeld said. “People have forgotten how to make food, and they want to learn how.” Birkenfeld noted that to have a flourishing Foodshed, you have to engage youth. Local Llano hosts education events for high school students about how they can come home. Ogallala Commons offers Community Internships for college students in their hometowns, and several have been centered around local food, Birkenfeld said. Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, an ag economics professor at K-State, referenced some research projects he has been a part of about [...]