Reconnecting Nebraska's Farmers and Grocery Retailers

Sponsored by your Nebraska Grocery Industry Association
Competitive Commodity Insight
Foresight on Food Politics
See Farmers at Work
Navigating the New Foodism
Translating Food Technology
The Lighter Side
Welcome from Kathy Siefken
A year-long educational program produced by Food-Chain Communications and delivered to members of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association. Farmer Goes to Market was established in 2008 to help bridge the growing gulf between today's grocery retailer and today's farmer, empowering them with full-chain knowledge to carry agriculture's true message to food consumers.


Nebraska's soybean farmers are proud to bring you this information to help answer customer questions
Nebraska soybean farmers and their checkoff are proud sponsors of the Farmer Goes to Market program, realizing that this program provides an integral link in the food system chain. The information provided in this newsletter is a key step in our educational initiative, providing consumers with information on our effort to provide them with a safe, affordable, abundant food supply.


A message from one of your Nebraska farm families
We are one of the thousands of Nebraska farm families who help supply food for your stores.
We would like the opportunity to talk with you. In a conversation, like local farmers and local grocers used to do, back when these two powerful parts of the food chain better understood what each other does. Today, your customer is often getting mixed messages... even downright false information about what we and the rest of your farmer suppliers do to help you feed and clothe them.
That's why your Nebraska Grocery Industry Association has partnered on this project called Farmer Goes to Market. We and 47,000 other Nebraska farmers understand you are the front line in our efforts to reach and educate consumers about what really goes into their food. In addition to this regular newsletter you're now looking at, we'll also be offering other educational opportunities, including tours of the Nebraska food system and issues-oriented roundtables to bring us all together face to face to learn from one another. If that sounds interesting--like something that will help your business--I hope you'll take a minute to visit the sites below, or click here to e-mail any questions or comments. We look forward to starting the conversation again.


Susan and Matt Kathol
Hartington, Neb.
Competitive Commodity Insight:
Dry Spring Weather Threatens to Make Already Beef Supplies Even Tighter

Dry weather will make the bad beef situation even worseApril temperatures in the Southern Plains already above 100 degrees spell more trouble for the nation's already short supply of beef cows. Click here for a look at projections for the coming months.

What do grocers and soybean farmers have in common?
Foresight on Food Politics: Let's Talk about the Impact of Biofuels on our Food Prices

Is biodiesel really causing food shortages?Media reports may have your customers believing "diverting" crops like soybeans to fuel production is causing food inflation -- even depriving people of food. Click here for a little background that might help explain this complex issue to them.

Meet your Farmers...

'I take personal responsibility to care for those animals....'

Click here to hear from real Nebraska beef farmers


Hear this Nebraska cattle feeder explain how important she considers the care of the animals under her responsibility.

Navigating the New Foodism: Going Green? Be Cautious You Don't See Red

The greening of food distribution could put you in the red. Here's why

Why the "New Food Movement's" emphasis on local farming as the only green alternative ultimately elbows the community grocer like you out of the picture.

Click here to get some insight.

Translating Food Technology:

What We Do to Reduce Antibiotic Use

What are Nebraska livestock farmers doing to reduce antibiotic use?Consumers have no doubt heard it repeated that today's farmers "over-use" antibiotics. But this Nebraska swine veterinarian gives a little perspective on the numbers, as well as what he and his farmer clients do every day to use those tools wisely. Read what he would tell your shoppers here.

Humor: Test Your Jingle Recall
Who says those hours of television you watched as a kid went to waste? Test your knowledge of these classic branding campaigns by taking this quiz. A testament to the power of great branding jingles.
How well do you remember your classic advertising jingles? Test yourself here
A Message from Kathy Siefken, Nebraska Grocer Industry Association

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 interests 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 click here to leave me a message.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this effort. 
Kathy Siefken
Executive Director
Nebraska Grocery Industry Association