Roots of Change: Nebraska's New Agriculture (Our Sustainable by Mary Ridder BA

By Mary Ridder BA

One of the big company and smaller family-sized farms and agribusinesses of Nebraska, the previous pioneering spirit of entrepreneurship is emerging back, this time within the kind of sustainable and natural growers, cooperatives, artisans, and visionaries—those who search to augment the standard of lifestyles and confirm its destiny at the farm, in the neighborhood, and during the world. Mary Ridder profiles those companies in Roots of switch, a undertaking that took her down Nebraska’s highways and byways for greater than years as she sought out, interviewed, and photographed manufacturers of meats and wines, makers of wooden items, ethanol visionaries, the consumers of a community-owned grocery tale, the folk in the back of the state’s first year-round, in the neighborhood produced grocery store, and the proprietors of a sheep’s milk dairy became cleaning soap company. the result's a map of the longer term when you desire to regain keep watch over of, and upload revenue to, the goods in their land and their hard work. (20080526)

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Roots of Change: Nebraska's New Agriculture (Our Sustainable Future)

One of the immense company and smaller family-sized farms and agribusinesses of Nebraska, the previous pioneering spirit of entrepreneurship is emerging back, this time within the type of sustainable and natural growers, cooperatives, artisans, and visionaries—those who search to augment the standard of lifestyles and confirm its destiny at the farm, locally, and through the international.

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John Ellis, owner of Libby Creek Farms west of York, tested these waters by developing a thirty-member marketing cooperative that sold products through grocery markets and gift stores as well as at farmers’ markets and convenience stores. He also established a presence for the cooperative’s product line in Lincoln’s farmers’ market, and he helped to open the doors on the first year-round farmers’ market in Nebraska, in Lincoln’s Haymarket district. Libby Creek Farms has three important components in place for aiding these cooperative ventures: a marketing building where produce can be displayed, demonstrated, and sold; an evolving incubator kitchen where cooperative members can test and develop value-added products; and a small-scale flourmill, where the fruits of Ellis’s value-added goals first began to flourish.

Today the group has eleven members representing six families and is working to expand the cooperative to include twenty families. In the cooperative’s first year it sold , chickens off of the farms. The following year it marketed , chickens. By the fall of  members decided that they should expand and start offering other meat products. Grants helped the group explore various marketing options. indd 44 12/6/2006 8:42:58 AM CDGI=HI6GC:><=7DGH  Center. Thanks to grant writing assistance from the Center for Rural Affairs, North Star Neighbors and other direct-marketing cooperatives secured and shared a $, grant for value-added ventures from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Other market opportunities included a concept for a “country village” where non-food items such as locally produced dolls, llama yarn, soaps, ceramics, and leaded glass plates could be sold. Ash Hollow Market was an important project for several reasons. It represented a key economic component of a community that had a café, bank, barber and beauty shop, hardware store, elementary school, and assisted living complex. The proposed market was also critical to the farmers and ranchers who were already traveling twenty to thirty miles to shop in Lewellen.

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