This website is about developing commercial-scale organic food systems for the residents of near-by cities. Our goals are to feed thousands and then millions at affordable prices while earning sustainable profits for farmers and investors, and living wages for farm hands and food industry workers.
These multi-product “diversified” food systems will integrate finance, marketing, processing and distribution services managed by and for farmers, ranchers and investors. Key operational elements include:
• Local Production Cooperatives
• A Regional Marketing Cooperative
• A Regional Farmland Trust
• Farmer-Owned Retail Food Brands
Page 2 on this website has more on “diversified” agriculture. Pages 3, 4 and 5 explain our approach to financing and marketing.
Farmers and ranchers near Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City are invited to help develop our cooperative services and use these services to build their own retail food brands.
We also invite qualified investors, elected officials and representatives of government agencies to discuss our business model.
The ideas offered on this website start with my late father, Bob Steffen. He was the farm manager for Father Flanagan at Boys Town for thirty years and a leader in developing commercial-scale organic and Biodynamic farming methods in the Midwest. In later life, Dad sold Biodynamic produce to local restaurants in Omaha. He introduced me to many holistic thinkers, including E.F. Shumacher, Wendell Berry and Alan Savory.
After a lifetime in an around organic farming, my current interests are in attracting qualified investors to farmer-owned food brands. These brands will be tied to pasture-based food systems that are big enough to supply upscale grocery stores and restaurants in near-by cities. On financing, Woody Tasch and his Slow Money Movement along with Michael Shuman, the author of Local Dollars, Local Sense offer excellent information on the economic potential of local food systems.
Our challenge now is to find the economies of scale that lie between “to small to make money” and the realities of the established food system – all without ignoring the real needs of land, labor, capital and management.