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Saturday March 24, 2018

Message from Kathy

Growing up on a farm or ranch, as I did, teaches you important lessons: That hard work matters; that success doesn't come to you, you have to go to it; that attention to little details like locking the gates behind you makes all the difference; and that you should never grow so proud that you can't shovel some manure when necessary. But another important lesson it taught me is that you and I -- members of Nebraska's vibrant community grocery industry -- have a whole lot in common with another under-recognized sector of the food system: The Nebraska farmer.

Picture this business... Family-run, very small profit margins, difficulty finding reliable labor, capital-intensive, over-regulated. Sound like your business? The fact is, I just described the average Nebraska farming operation, as well. When it comes to meeting the increasingly confusing demands of the modern food consumer, there's no better team whose interest naturally run in common than a professional community grocer backed by a professional community farmer.


That's why I'm proud to announce Nebraska is participating in the newest expansion of the Farmer Goes to Market program. Farmer Goes to Market gives you a unique chance to get a virtual one-on-one with the Nebraska farmers who provide the products you sell. They can be a valuable resource in helping explain sometimes confusing issues to customers. To help shortcut the often long and intensive process of finding, meeting and reconnecting with farmers, the program will include several components, including:

  • E-mail newsletters like this one, to bring you exclusive farm based intelligence that helps you plan your marketing efforts from the farm up, gaining a competitive edge.
  • Roundtables to gather key opinion leaders from both ends of the chain (farmers who grow our food and grocers who sell it) and discuss important issues facing the food system and its consumers.
  • Farm tours, to reacquaint grocers with the complex chain that produces and delivers their food supplies, to dispel some misconceptions, and to equip them with accurate information to give consumers.

The collaborative effort between Food-Chain Communications, a neighboring Missouri company, and the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association will reestablish that connection between grocers and farmers and begin the much-needed dialog many have lost. For information, call me, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to leave me a message.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this effort.

Kathy Siefken
Executive Director
Nebraska Grocery Industry Association

Get in on the dialog...

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