How To Fix Sustainable Agriculture in the Missouri Valley

Our most experienced natural and organic (sustainable) farmers and ranchers are aging out of agriculture in the Missouri Valley. Why?

Because we cannot make enough money selling organic commodities to food manufacturers and/or selling value-added products at farmers markets, local restaurants and CSA’s.

Without steady profits, these skilled producers will never make enough money to buy conventionally managed land for conversion to sustainable methods, however defined. This means that we cannot begin the long process of rebuilding our depleted soil and water resources, wildlife habitat and rural communities.

Although organic food sales are increasing at high rates in Omaha, Kansas City and the nation, sustainable farmers in the Missouri Valley continue to struggle without an effective business model.

Raised Free – A New Business Model for Farmland Succession

Our business goal is to return a measurable and fair share of the retail food dollar to working sustainable farmers and ranchers. The first step is to bring qualified local investors, as minority partners, to the table with experienced producers.

These investors will fund local marketing partnerships (LLC’s) controlled by an experienced producer who serves as the partnership general manager. The local “brand partnerships” will handle marketing, processing and distribution of farmer-controlled sustainable food brands destined for Omaha and Kansas City retail markets.

Consumer Demand

Omaha area residents spend roughly 100 million dollar annually on non-local (imported) organic foods while Kansas City area consumers spend over 180 million (Census, USDA, OTA). There is no doubt that we can produce, process and sell most of these products in Missouri Valley. Therefore, we intend to compete on price, quality and availability directly with non-local organic brands and other specialty foods.

Massena Farms

To begin, we will demonstrate the Raised Free business model using our own Massena Farms brand. To learn more, please go to www.RaisedFree.org, or contact me directly at 402-317-2639.

Sincerely,

Jim Steffen
jim@massenafarms.com

 

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