Bringing Independent Farmers into the Marketplace

– The days of showing
up with your cantaloupes in the back of the pickup
are no longer a way to make a living, so you
have to be willing to change. My name is Diana Endicott, and
I farm in Southeast Kansas, and I’m also President of the Good Natured Family Farms Alliance. Small and mid-scale farmers need to have all the opportunities that
they can to sell their product. SARE was kind of the launching pad. The first grant helped us put together an all-natural beef cooperative. During that time, natural
beef was not the norm. – Diana said well we’d
like to get you to produce hormone free calves for slaughter. I said I’d be happy to do it, because all my calves are hormone free. – And we were able to enter the market, and be able to sell beef
to the first grocery store. The next SARE Grant that
we had, we really focused on the consumer, and we
were able to collect data on the consumer’s perspective of purchasing natural
beef at the retail level. We were able to show that there was actually a demand for the product. After we started selling
beef into the marketplace, one of the farmers would call
up and say we have honey. Someone else said, we’ve been trying to get into the marketplace, we have eggs. That’s when we created Good
Natured Family Farms Alliance. There needed to be a structure
to allow local family farms to sell to a wholesale market, because there’s many
different business facets, where you’re placed in
the store, contracts, different certifications
that are required. So what Good Natured
Family Farms brand does, is it allows the farmer to
concentrate on their farm. We have over 100 farmers in the Good Natured Family Farms Alliance, and it has provided a
model of how small family farms can bring their
products to the marketplace; so that the consumer can find it easier to shop for local food. It was all built around
the initial SARE funding that allowed us to get
beef into the marketplace. – There has become a much higher
demand for grass fed beef. And there is a personal
satisfaction for me, knowing that I’m making a lot of people healthy and happy with
what I provide for ’em. Good Natured Family Farms
provides a lot of farmers with jobs, it provides grocery stores with excellent products to
sell to their consumers, and so it’s a win/win
for everybody, I think. – I think that it’s a
demonstration of how a community can actually be productive, and build a livelihood from the land.

One Reply to “Bringing Independent Farmers into the Marketplace”

  1. But those fields have been overgrazed down to nothing. The grasses don’t have any leaf surface to collect solar energy.

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