The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s recently held an event that connected Methow Valley producers with potential business partners while touring farms.
Katie Lynd works with WSDA’s Food Assistance and Regional Markets program and noted their goal is to help farmers of all sizes succeed.
“These local buying missions aim to increase the vitality of small farms by supporting them in business planning and access to direct markets.”
In the Methow Valley, there were farmers from the area along with local businesses looking to partner with farmers, but also businesses from Seattle or other areas looking to find these agri-businesses.
Lynd said this permits farmers to come together, see different operations that might lead to inspirations and discussions with potential buyers, and at the Methow event, the farmers were excited to see the support.
“Some of the next steps include working on consolidating delivery locations, buying together, some of the restaurants want to buy together to make the orders bigger and make the deliveries less on the farmers, and paying a higher price for those specialty products that they can only get very seasonally in the Methow.”
Lynd said they tailor each of these meet-and-greet events to the specific location they will be so that the producers from there can get the biggest benefits.