Hemp in America: Making Sense of the 2018 Farm Bill

Hemp in America: Making Sense of the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill brought hemp to the forefront of conversations across the US agricultural industry and among consumers in general as it broadly legalized hemp after nearly five decades of the crop being banned. While farmers, businesses, investors, and consumers generate excitement about this newly legalized industry, many are concerned about the exact details […]

Porter’s Five Forces and the Good Food Industry: Supplier Power

Porter’s Five Forces and the Good Food Industry: Supplier Power

Earlier this year I had an incredible opportunity to join Pasture One, a mission-driven distributor of sustainable, grass-fed beef. Our small team had a mandate to support ranchers using techniques that promote carbon sequestration and grasslands regeneration. While the opportunity was shorter-lived than anticipated, it was a fantastic experience. Unfortunately, the business closed suddenly due […]

The Importance of Community

Two weeks ago the Good Food Business Accelerator kicked off its second year. The GFBA is a fellows program that assists Midwest farms and food entrepreneurs with mentoring, training, sales support and financing to launch and grow their businesses. I worked with FamilyFarmed.org in the conception of and strategy for the accelerator, and conducted trainings […]

Positioning Statements: How a Carrot is More Than a Carrot

Earlier this month I spent a week in New England conducting sales and marketing trainings for the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program and the Carrot Project. They invited educators to offer trainings on finance, marketing and management to individuals that provide business assistance and capital to agricultural and food enterprises. It was a wonderful […]

Anatomy of a Positioning Statement

In an earlier blog post titled “Positioning statements: how a carrot is more than a carrot” I described how a business identifies itself to its customer vis-à-vis the competition through a positioning statement, and how a well-crafted positioning statement can help an organization grow. I introduced the framework and provided an example from an indoor […]

Don’t waste a perfectly good failure

I was having one of those memorable group dinners last weekend that jumps from one fun topic to another, and has us sharing and learning new things about ourselves. One question that popped up for all to reflect on was “what accomplishment are you most proud of in life?” After some thought, my answer surprised […]

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a school district commissary. The goal is to strengthen Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. NVA developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development. (2021)