WW Homestead Dairy Hosts the NEIA Food and Farm Network

WW Homestead Dairy Hosts the NEIA Food and Farm Network

 

The June 11 gathering of the Northeast Iowa Food and Farm Network drew a crowd of 13 farmers and food businesses to WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon. Despite the hot weather, this group of food and farm entrepreneurs took a break from their farms to learn about the dairy’s story, meet up with other farmers, and, of course, eat some ice cream! Continue reading

For Iowa’s food hubs, networking leads to solutions

by Kayla Koether
Food Systems Specialist

 

More and more, locally grown food graces the grocery lists of Iowans looking to support their local economy and purchase fresh, source-verified products. While local food is becoming accessible in more venues, most consumers don’t realize that many small food businesses are working very hard behind the scenes (and doing so in partnership with non-profits and extension) to bring those products to the marketplace. Their goal: to support more farmers and make local food accessible to a wider range of consumers. Continue reading

Farming the Web Builds Farm Business Capacity

Marketing is hard! And it can be even harder when you’re a full-time farmer running a local food business. Farmers will be the first to admit that they didn’t get into this line of work because they love creating brands, building websites or planning marketing strategies, but because they love growing good food for their neighbors. That’s why farmers are often short on this skill, and why folks in Region 4 identified it as a high-priority educational opportunity on NEIA Beginning Farmer Network surveys last fall. In response to their needs, we developed a full-day workshop entitled “Farming the Web; Managing the Gateway to Your Farm Business” with Ash Bruxvoort. Continue reading

NEIA Beginning Farmer Network– First meeting success!

The Beginning Farmer Network met for the first time on Monday, November 14. With around 40 people in attendance, the enthusiasm and comradery were palpable. The crowd was excited about the gathering and opportunities for networking and collaborating- so much so, in fact, that members decided to meet monthly, with additional time slots for educational workshops, and even work nights for farmers to do paperwork together. Continue reading

Two Farms, One Flood

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Meet Hannah Breckbill of Humble Hands Harvest. She provides CSA shares to about 30 families and individuals, sells produce at the Decorah farmers’ market, and wholesales veggies to the Iowa Food Hub, and the Oneota Coop, among others. After working on multiple farms since 2009, Hannah was able to realize her dream of starting her own farm in 2013. Originally farming on a few leased acres near Elgin, Minnesota, Hannah relocated Humble Hands to rural Decorah. Continue reading