Buchanan County WLL held another informational and successful Connecting Women in Ag virtual seminar on May 13, 2021. This was the third such seminar sponsored by Buchanan WLL, with each featuring local ag-related businesses. The seminars have provided the opportunity for the small ag business owners to discuss their business and marketing, which is not only very interesting but also provides ideas and opportunity for others thinking of starting a small ag business and also provides local consumer opportunities.
In the May seminar, Josh Dansdill with NE Iowa RC&D discussed farmers’ markets in Iowa and more specifically in northeast Iowa. Josh talked about the various structures used by markets in the state and variety of market manager structure. He further discussed the opportunities that farmers’ markets provide to Iowa’s farmers and consumers.
Next, Katie Olthoff talked about the business ChopLocal, of which she is Co-founder and Director. ChopLocal provides an alternative supply chain for meat in Iowa. In response to issues created due to COVID, such as local meat lockers being booked well into the future and also more consumers desiring “direct to consumer” access even prior to the pandemic, ChopLocal was created and began operation late in 2020.
ChopLocal is the “Etsy of Meat” as it serves as an online marketplace to connect meat producers and businesses with consumers similar to an online farmers’ market. One of their goals is to be inclusive of conventional and niche (organic, grass-fed etc.) producers, so both types of meat products are available.
The seminar was attended by 12 participants, with many good questions asked which led to more information shared.