Don Hofstrand, Value-Added Agriculture Field Specialist, Northeast Area
The traditional food supply chain is a commodity system linked together through open markets. However, consumers are demanding unique food products that are produced and supplied through an integrated food supply chain. The integrated supply chain requires a much higher level of communication among the players in the supply chain. The identity of the products are preserved from production to consumption and quality assurance programs are demanded. This new supply chain is linked together through contracts, joint ventures, and direct ownership. To play a meaningful role in these new supply chains, farmers must proactively move towards the development of these systems.
A group of 36 farmers from across Iowa created a farmer-owned specialty grain supply company called Innovative Growers. ISU Extension provided the impetus and on-going support for the creation and development of Innovative Growers. The company received access to low linolenic soybean seed developed by ISU. The quantity of seed has been expanded to provide quantites of seed needed for commercial production.
In April Innovative Growers received its first contract for low linolenic soybeans. AgPro, a soybean processing company in Massena, New York, will purchase a minimum of 45,000 bushels of low linolenic non-GMO soybeans from Innovative Growers over the 2005 crop marketing year. AgPro will process and refine the soybeans and market the oil into the high-end, health conscious fry market in the New England states. Innovative Growers has contracted with Dedham Cooperative of Dedham, Iowa to manage its grower contracts. If the venture proves successful, AgPro will purchased increased quantities in the future.
April 29, 2005
121 - Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products
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