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MAFCO and ‘eating off the farm’

February 2, 2012
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere , Marshall Independent

Do you raise extra produce? Would you like to raise produce and sell it to schools? Or for that matter any other kind of product that comes from the farm? Are you trying to find a better way to get your produce/food from your farm into the hands of consumers that are looking for quality, wholesome food? Here is the idea of the week: Marshall Area Food Cooperative (MAFCO).

This group started it roots about a year ago with intent to provide somehow, someway of getting quality, wholesome food, and fresh from the farm into the hands of the local consumers who would love to have it. There is a small group of people in the Marshall area who are working toward just a goal.

MAFCO is "committed to improving the availability of quality, fresh, wholesome food for families, neighbors and all of the area's children." They are "planning to enable local food producers to grow and sell more of what they grow best and earn a reasonable profit for all their work and dedication." This group of people is looking for producers such as you. The model for their vision includes: an internet based ordering system to help expand the Farm-to-Fork and Farm-to-School efforts in southwestern Minnesota.

They are including coordinated crop production and joint marketing efforts plus combined transportation to get your produce to the area schools and local people who have added their name to the list of consumers that would like to buy local, wholesome food.

The call is out for any local producer from about an hour around the Marshall area to let this group know of your interest and what type of produce or product you have that the consumer would be interested in. As a gardener and as someone who use to have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce farm, I can only say that going back to having fresh food on your table as much as possible is truly a wonderful thing. My own children love to "eat off of the farm" as much as possible. There isn't anything that beats homemade food.

Membership to MAFCO will provide access to online ordering system, the benefits of collaborative marketing and distribution and the right to vote on issues affecting Coop leadership and activities. As a producer's cooperative, producers will also pay a percentage of sales to cover operating expenses, as determined by the Board of Directors. MAFCO has a Facebook page and an email address for those who have not yet been informed of this great opportunity. For more information regarding MAFCO, email

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