Hello everyone! I have just finished the first week of my internship and have enjoyed every moment of it! The purpose of my internship is to gain data about the existing and potential market for locally produced foods, what type of production is happening locally, and how the public or consumers feel about locally produced foods in Smith, Phillips, and Norton County in Kansas. In order to gain this data, as the title of this blog mentioned, I am calling all producers and distributors in these three counties and surveying them. Some questions I am asking producers are… What type of items do you produce? Do you consider your product as value added? Would you increase your production if the market demanded? Questions for the distributors vary do to the fact that I am surveying grocers, restaurants, health systems, and school systems. However, some questions are… If you sold local produce, would you market it as locally grown? Do you think locally grown products are worth paying a premium for? How large of an area do you consider local?
In order to survey the public, I will be sitting around some local places, such as the grocery store or at the county fair and asking them questions as to how they feel about having the availability of locally grown products in stores or served as an option in a restaurant or eating place. I am hoping to gain a better understanding of how the consumers feel about a market for local products.
Another way I am reaching out to the public is through a Facebook page I created this week called Central Growers Cooperative. The page really took off this week and I am excited to be able to share information pertaining to producing locally, telling stories about local producers, and sharing updates about the progress in my internship! So, all of you reading this should go like our page!
I am excited to find out the results of my surveying and research and cannot wait to learn more about the surrounding area!
Pictures: Left- My work space during phone calls. Right- Central Growers Cooperative Facebook Page