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FOOD HUBS! This Old Farm, Inc. is a Food Hub!!!! on February 20th, 2015

​Food Hubs
Jodee Ellett, Local Foods Coordinator

Food hubs respond to community food needs and can assume various roles in your local food system. This is why it is important for producers, distributors, retailers and consumers to work together to develop regional food hubs. Current hub models can:

• Increase access to local food for larger volume buyers

• Enable local farmers to sell more of their products and retain product identity and transparency

• Assist buyers with larger quantities of local food products not available in local farmers markets

• Provide technical assistance for growers and buyers to ensure the marketplace is offering goods and services needed in the area

• Preserve greater market share and revenue for local food farmers​

Food hubs are mechanisms that allow many local growers to aggregate their products and collectively market and distribute them to larger buyers (farm-to-institution), individual buyers (farm-to-consumer) or both. Unlike the farmers market model (where customers purchase from the farmer – direct marketing), a food hub uses a buying mechanism such as a website, online store or email to work with larger buyers. Farmers do not generally participate directly in the mechanism.

Business Models ​
The USDA working definition of a food hub is, “A Regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand.” Food hubs function under several business models including private, non-profit, cooperative, publicly held and informal. By definition, food hubs address the triple bottom line: economic, social and environmental impacts. Food hubs also can be a key component of community food systems by stabilizing local demand, expanding sales opportunities for growers and increasing consumer awareness and access to local food. Food hubs work to maintain the value chain for farm products by offering food with added value, such as from a local, reputable farm, organic certification, non-GMO, pasture-raised, no growth hormones or antibiotics, etc. By offering product transparency, food hubs can enable growers to set prices relative to their production costs, rather than relative to global food prices.

Food hubs, by their very nature, are rooted in local farming and community needs and must be responsive to product supply and market demand at the local and regional level.​


Food hubs in Indiana require growers and buyers to conduct themselves with certain business understanding and attention to regulation. Here are some examples of what could be expected:

Food Hub

Uses Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and is insured for product liability
Ensures growers have GAPs training

Provides high-quality products
Requires growers to maintain product liability insurance

Produces clean products that are graded and packaged according to food hub standards
Checks products on arrival at food hub; rejects unsatisfactory products

Provides products that are uniform in size and quality
Maintains value-chain (farm branding)

Labels and traces products

Markets and distributes products

Maintains regular and consistent product output
Manages sales and marketing

Transports products while following GAPs and Good Handling Practices (GHPs)
Distributes product

Communicates with food hub about product availability, harvest dates and issues
Provides customer and farmer relations

What can a food hub do for your local food system? Your co​mmunity​?

​Food hubs can be instrumental for your community efforts to increase jobs and improve your local economy. In 2013, the average sales for a food hub in the United States was more $3.7 million — the longer the hub was operated, the greater its success. Of the total revenue, 61% went directly to farmers and 23% went to employee salaries. More than half of all food hubs have mission statements that indicate strong values for supporting local farmers and local food systems. Food hubs also work to offer services to support those values including: transportation from farm to hub, grower education, and processing, storage and marketing services. Food hubs also participate in their communities — they accept food stamps (SNAP-49%), donate to local food pantries/banks (79%) and provide educational programming for local food systems (56%).


Barham, J., Tropp, K. E., Farbman, J., Fisk, J., & Kiraly, S. (2012). Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service.

Cantrell, P., & Heuer, B. (2014). Food Hubs: Solving Local. The Wallace Center at Winrock International.

Fischer, M. H. (2013). Findings of the 2013 National Food Hub Survey. Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and The Wallace Center for Winrock International.

Padellford, J. (2013, January 17). West Central Wisconsin local food hub. Retrieved from West Central Wisconsin local food hub:

​United States Department of Agriculture. (2014, April 28). USDA ARS Farmers’ Markets and Local Food Marketing: Food Hubs. Retrieved from USDA ARS Farmers’ Markets and Local Food Marketing:

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Purdue University’s Upcoming Events! on February 20th, 2015

Upcoming Events

Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshops. Funded by Purdue, as part of AgSEED Crossroads funding to support Indiana’s Agriculture and Rural Development, or by USDA/ISDA Specialty Crops Block Grant to Purdue. Programs focused on cantaloupe are also relevant to other fresh fruits and vegetables; all growers are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Adams County Extension, 313 W. Jefferson St., #213. Decatur, IN. contact: Brad Kohlhagen, 260-724-5322,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Elkhart County, location TBD. contact: Jeff Burbrink, 574-533-0554, Ext 106,

Friday, March 27, 2015. Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 U.S. 41, Rockville, IN. Contact: Jim Luzar, 812-462-3371,

Monday, March 30, 2015. Hancock County, location TBD. Contact: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113,

North Central Indiana Vegetable Grower Meeting. March 3, 2015. 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wakarusa Produce Auction, Goshen, IN. Contact: Jeff Burbrink. 574-533-0554, Ext 106,

Indiana Small Farm Conference. March 5-7, 2015. Danville, IN. Many sessions, including ‘Putting Together an On-Farm Food Safety Plan’ on Saturday, March 7, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (This Old Farm Inc. will also be hosting a booth)

Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Grower Meeting. March 6, 2015. French Lick Resort & Casino, 8670 W. State Rd. 56, French Lick, IN. Contact Da Egel, 812-886-0198,

University of Kentucky 2015 High Tunnel Webinar Series. Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. To attend remotely from your home computer: contact Miranda Hileman Combs, 859-218-4384, To attend in person at the Purdue Extension office in Hancock County, contact Roy Ballard at 317-642-6566 or

February 24 Structure Options, Construction, Ventilation & Temperature Control

March 3 Organic Production and Certification & Economic and Marketing Considerations

March 10 Crop and Equipment Options and Nutrient and Irrigation Management in High Tunnels

March 17 Insect, Weed and Disease Control in High Tunnels

March 24 (webinar) or March 31 (in person at Hancock County) Producer Views & Series Wrap-up

TAX TIME SPECIALS!!!! on February 20th, 2015

TAX TIME SPECIALS: Are you ready to spend your tax check? Why not buy some great healthy meat and support your local farmers!

We have in stock and ready to carry out to your vehicle Little Lamb Samplers (1/2 Lamb) Package Prices include: $156.80, $153.35, $153.35, $148.75, $148.75, $148.75, $153.35, and $295.25. You can call in 765-324-2161 and find out exactly what kinds of cuts and how many packages are in each Little Lamb Sampler!

We have in stock and ready to carry out to your vehicle Farmer’s Rations (1/4 Beef) Package Prices include: $642.22, $650.28, $650.28, $642.22, $571.46, $872.90, $870.89, $872.90, $870.98 and $616.04. We also have 1 100% grass-fed package available at $566.09. You can call in 765-324-2161 and find out exactly what kinds of cuts and how many packages are in each Farmer’s Ration!

Hurry in before they are all gone!

Watch America’s farmers slowly disappear from this map on February 13th, 2015

In a time span of less than 40 years, America has gone from being a nation of farmers and secretaries to one of truck drivers and the occasional software developer. Yesterday, NPR released an interactive map of the most common job in every state from 1978 to 2014, based on data from the Census Bureau.

Here’s the map of the quaint, nationally heterogeneous late ’70s. In ’78, farmers dominated eight states, while the metropolises on the coasts bustled with busy-bee secretaries. And Hawaii, that number-crunching little island that we know all know and love, was thick with bookkeepers! This is an ideal way to imagine the U.S. economy — neatly divided into regional industry belts. Ah, the good ol’ days.


But jump 18 years later to 1996, and the job landscape is starkly homogenous. There was a significant drop in secretaries and a huge jump in truck drivers.


Zoom another 18 years to the (nearly) present day, and the digital age has begun to mix up the job market. Behold the rise of software developers. And beholdier: Truck drivers continue to command the national job market. Only two states remain with more farmers than any other profession. In less than 20 years, farming dropped as the No. 1 job in six out of the eight states previously dominated by ag. (Side note: Hawaii, per usual, continues to keep things interesting.)


It doesn’t take too much noggin-tapping to figure out the problem here. As an industry, farming hasn’t shrunk. Almost everything about farming has grown exponentially since the adoption of factory farming in the 1920s. The rise of high-tech equipment, an increase in pesticide use, and the implementation of government-issued subsidies — all are larger than ever — except the number of farmers. With the help of ag technology, farms have become more specialized, gleaning tremendous production of commodity crops.

So what’s happening to all the farmers? As NPR put it, this longitudinal map shows “the tail end of a century-long trend” in the farming industry. Not only are farmers aging out, younger generations are finding new professions — like, y’know, maybe truck driving, software development, or moving to Hawaii to become a sous chef.

By Liz Core on 6 Feb 2015

NEW Product – BOLOGNA!!!!! on February 12th, 2015


Be the first to try our new All Meat, Premier Cuts (no byproduct), Deli Style Bologna!

8 oz. pkg. $4.50/pkg.