Article by: Courtney Bergey Swanson
Since launching the HEN program in late 2019, the need for local foods business support has increased drastically due to COVID-19’s impact on the food systems. “Many small farmers saw unprecedented interest in their local food products at the onset of the pandemic, which led to new growth challenges such as starting e-commerce platforms, finding quality processing facilities, and more,” said CEDA’s HEN coordinator Courtney Bergey Swanson.
Throughout the past year, CEDA’s team members have successfully coached over 35 farmers, assisting these small businesses with pivoting their business model to respond to the pandemic, developing new marketing strategies, and creating direct relationships to consumers. Several free educational programs were held virtually, which are available on our website.
There are only three spots left in the HEN program, so if you know of a farmer or ag-based business that could use some free assistance, please direct them to the online application or reach out to Courtney Bergey Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org