Nonprofit secures funding to promote local agriculture
A newly emerging nonprofit group will get financial help from Nevada County to promote local agriculture.
Earlier this week, county supervisors approved a grant of $10,000 in seed money for Nevada County Grown.
The group, modeled after the successful marketing organization in Placer County called PlacerGrown, can now move forward with its nonprofit status, said Roger Ingram, farm advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension.
Farmers are typically not skilled at marketing their products, Ingram said. The group plans to market locally and regionally to a growing number of consumers who are concerned about food safety and want to know where their food comes from, Ingram said.
In recent years, the local demand for grass-fed beef has been rising along with fresh vegetables, fruit and foothill wines.
“I think there’s an increasing interest in finding a local source of food,” Ingram said.
Marketing directly to the consumer rather than to distributors will keep more money in farmers’ wallets.
“Doing more of that direct sales, you’re capturing more of that dollar,” Ingram said.
The $10,000 grant will help form a board of directors, develop a logo and marketing materials, set up a Web site and aid in the search for other funding sources, according to Rita de Quercus, start-up coordinator for the group and active participant in the Local Food Coalition.
Nevada County Grown will be the only nonprofit group to market Nevada County agriculture. A volunteer-run organization called Golden Ag started in the late 1990s, but quickly ran out of steam, Ingram said.
The group hopes to be fully formed by the end of June, Ingram said.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4231.
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