Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:38 AM by Iowa Corn
We woke up Saturday morning to another warm and sunny day in San Francisco! We started off our morning with a trip to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market located on the San Francisco Bay.
|I-LEAD Class 6
The first speaker was Sumer Johal,the Founder and CEO of Agralogics. He formed this company with the intentions of getting farmers to share data between each other so that everyone can become as efficient as possible with their acres. His hope is to share all data in a simple matter, and with every operation on the farm. This started a good discussion on the topic of corporate companies getting and using farmers personal data toward there own agenda's.
The next speakers were Allison Theureau and Doug Austin from IQ Foods. They have a company that is working with farmers and chefs a-like. Their goal is to have the food being prepared in restaurants be the same food that is readily available in the area. They are involved with the food from start to finish. A large investment of their time is spent looking into the future to see what the demand in the food market will be and what is sustainable. 97% of the population here isn't involved in agriculture which makes this an interesting location for them because demand and sustainability don’t always line up with supply. They are working hard to educate people and find ways for long term sustainability.
Next we received the inside scoop on the Farmers Markets in the area. The one we visited in downtown is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, receiving 20,000-30,000 people a day! It is one of thirty in the city. The organic market was a large presence, having roughly 51% of the market. The outdoor farmers market is very similar to one you might find in the Midwest, but the indoor slots are a different story. These spots are up-scale stores selling a premium product. We toured five stores: Prather Meat Ranch, Cow Girl Creamery, Golden Gate Meat Company, McEvoy Ranch, and Farm Fresh to You. All are family-owned and operated businesses, and they are all run by people with a lot of excitement and passion for their work. It was a neat experience to get to have those conversations with producers from different avenues of the Ag Industry.
After our tour we said "goodbye" to our outstanding tour guides, Mark Linder and Scott Harris. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening touring the city, and getting some much needed down time!
Josh Lammert is a young farmer from southwest Iowa. He is finding that the knowledge and friendships he developed while at Northwest Missouri State comes in handy as he gets started in his farming career. It's great to see young farmers excited about their futures in farming and eager to help each other.