Lone Tree Foods, with the main office in Crete, Neb., is a farmer-owned business named for the Lone Tree Ferry that was instrumental in connecting Nebraska to the eastern territories. Their mission is to connect local farmers with wholesale buyers in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. They function as an ordering hub and sales channel via their sales staff and online ordering system. In order to continue their mission of providing local foods they determined that there were improvements that could be made to their marketing process. Lone Tree Foods received a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) of $41,050 to aid in these improvements.
The (VAPG) matched with $43,290 in applicant contributions will be used for working capital to expand their market area and to execute a marketing campaign. The funds will help pay for four projects that should increase Lone Tree Foods marketing reach. The first project is the Nebraska Box food subscription program for which Lone Tree Foods will develop packaging, marketing materials, a dedicated website, and purchase advertising from varied medias. The second project involves further recruitment and certification of the local foods producers in Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) food safety certification. The third project involves setting up and purchasing the Price Look-Up (PLU) stickers for products. The fourth project involves general marketing for Loan Tree Foods including outreach events, advertising, and developing promotional materials.