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New "Matchmaker" Will Bring Iowa Farmers, Consumers Together

March 27, 2007


If you who want to know who produced your food, and where and how it was grown or raised, there's a new "matchmaker" coming to Iowa. Starting later this year, the Iowa Food Cooperative will help Iowans track down locally-grown food, and help farmers reach out to local consumers. Gary Huber with Practical Farmers of Iowa says the internet-based cooperative will be a "win-win" for good nutrition and for the state's rural economy.

"It's good, wholesome food, and that's one thing but the other thing is the economic impact, the commerce that happens. The creation of more local commerce, more jobs in the community."

Consumers and producers would pay a fee to join the cooperative, and then they would have access to products, pricing and location. Huber says the first step to setting up the Iowa Food Cooperative is signing up farmers.

"We are going to have to do a bit of work in recruiting farmers, finding out what they might have available for sale, how much, at what time of the year and then match that up with potential demand."

He says with the help of a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Iowa Food Cooperative should be ready for launch later this year. Huber says it will help Iowans rediscover the importance of local food for healthy communities.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA