This project will develop a new business, Grass Run Farm Inc, to process, market and deliver grass-fed beef and hogs from three family farms that manage livestock using chemical-free, grass-based methods to reduce environmental impact. The business model has great significance in Northeast Iowa and other areas where thousands of acres of highly erodible land, once in pasture or CRP have been, or are, being converted to row crop. 100% grass-fed beef production is a low impact agriculture practice that can restore abused farm ground.
Northeast Iowa RC&D helped Grass Run Farm Inc. by conducting a Feasibility Study for the business and helping them develop their business and marketing plans. The RC&D also worked with this business to develop and secure a federal Value Added Development Grant.
The VAPG grant is providing working capital for the company for one year, helping them expand to a more profitable level of processing. The project goal is to help the venture increase the capacity and the viability of the company by helping meet the demands of larger buyers and providing more consistent supply of product to institutional buyers than any one producer can make available.
This business will use market differentiation to ensure product is sold and distributed at a higher profit. They will manage the procurement of animals, arrangements for processing, marketing, and distribution to small businesses and institutions in the tri-state area of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where they already have clients lined up to purchase in fifteen communities.
No other business of this kind exists in this area. It immediately creates multiple full-time and part-time jobs and provides a viable natural resourced based business model for other entrepreneurs. More information about Grass Run Farm Inc. can be found on their web-site www.grassrunfarm.com !