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Key Cooperative is partnering with the Iowa Food & Family Project to better acquaint Iowans with farmers and enhance their confidence in how food is grown, prepared and served.
Launched in 2011 by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), the Iowa Food & Family Project celebrates the continuous improvement of Iowa’s farm families and their dedication to providing wholesome food for everyone. It invites Iowans to become better acquainted with the dedicated farmers who grow their food and more knowledgeable and trusting in how food is grown through innovative activities and partnerships.
Key Cooperative joins nearly 40 partners supporting the Iowa Food & Family Project including SUBWAY® Restaurants, Iowa’s commodity associations, Farm Credit Services of America, Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Midwest Dairy Association and Machine Shed Restaurant.
“Consumer support for agriculture is critical to the success of Iowa’s cooperatives and the farmers we serve,” says Key Cooperative General Manager, Jim Magnuson. “Many Iowans are two to three generations removed from farm life yet they have an intense interest in what we do as farmers and farm suppliers. We’re committed to serving our farmers by helping them connect with consumers in unique and personal ways to grow understanding and trust.”
While most consumers respect and admire farmers, they have sincere questions about the quality and safety of their food. In a telephone survey conducted this fall of 500 influential food purchasers on behalf of the Iowa Food & Family Project, 85 percent of respondents said they think “sometimes” or “often” about how the food they purchase is produced. Eighty-three percent were concerned about food safety while nearly one in three said they would like to know more about how food is produced.
The Iowa Food & Family Project (www.iowafoodandfamily.com) offers Iowans a variety of opportunities to become more familiar with farmers and confident in how they grow food through its presenting sponsorship of the Iowa Games and support of Live Healthy Iowa. It also sponsors farm tours and must-see exhibits at the Iowa State Fair and maintains an active presence on the web and social media. Most recently, it partnered with influential “Iowa Girl Eats” blogger Kristin Porter to visit farms and share her experiences and perspectives about farm life.
“Consumers want greater confidence that the products they purchase and the ingredients used to make them are wholesome and safe, do no harm to the environment and are good for the local communities where they originate,” says Aaron Putze, ISA Director of Communications and Iowa FFP coordinator. “Iowa famers are dedicated to fulfilling these expectations and the Iowa Food & Family Project is helping those stories come to life in unique and thoughtful ways.”
Key Cooperative and the Iowa FFP will collaborate on activities that feed the curiosity Iowans have about today’s farms and food system. Sara Clausen, Key Cooperative Communications Director, says the partnership provides Iowa’s farmers a unique opportunity to share information with people interested in wholesome food and the integrity of the farmers and the cooperatives who provide it.
“We’re proud to be associated with the Iowa Food & Family Project and support the innovative activities it develops to the benefit of farmers and all Iowans,” says Clausen.
Key Cooperative is member-owned with locations in 12 communities located in six primary counties including Jasper, Mahaska, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story and Tama. It includes 3,200 members and provides essential business services in the areas of agronomy, energy, feed, grain, lumber and construction, NAPA auto care, precision agriculture and transportation logistics. It’s governed by a 12-member board of directors.
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