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Financial Conversations with Fitz #68 - Golden Nugget in North Iowa and Iowa Farmers Markets - 06/08/2010

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A beautiful  morning.  The soil temperatures at 70 in Kanawha.   It looks like the grains will open down this morning with the good crop prospects following last week’s roller coaster.   What a crazy week last week.  The DOW open will probably be flat to low after a tough day on Friday.  Japan even seeing some softening of the Nikkei.  I see the grain people are busy making their predictions now that most of the crop is in the ground.   A couple of crop reports out this week.  There are so many variables affecting the arrows up or down.  We had a great Hospice/TSB golf tournament on Saturday.   Had 24 teams played in sunshine and a small shower.  Everyone I know had fun.  Had lots of food and fellowship.  Supported a great cause for North Iowa Hospice.

Now that we have passed the Memorial Day weekend we have visited our summer business of the Farmers Markets.   If you haven’t used one yet be sure you put it on your schedule for this summer.   Stopped out Thursday to ours which is located on the Pamida Parking Lot.   I see that Algona is listed as being on the corner of Dodge and Nebraska.  It tastes so good to have that fresh lettuce or radishes right out of the garden.   I know when I worked with Extension we did a lot of work promoting and educating both the consumer and the producer.   It is one quiet business that exists and does well in Iowa.   Latest figures are over $22 million annually.   They promote both good taste and nutrition.  Over the years I have heard people say, “well it isn’t cheap."  I had something happen to me this last two months that changed my perspective on price of good food.   I was recently told that I have diabetes 2.   Now pay the expenses associated with testing and medication and health challenges with that and good food is a great great bargain.   Farmers Markets are closely monitored by the type of food they can offer by the Dept of Agriculture and the Association that they are part of.   They are also watched by our local County Health Departments.   We have certainly observed what can happen to food that travels 1500 miles.   One thing we do need more of, are producers.  It is a good little business that is part time and you still get your winters off.   Some markets are even cleared to offer meat and cheese products if they do it according to the rules.   There is a good directory on the web listing where your closest one is.  Make a day trip out of farmers markets.  One you will certainly enjoy if you don’t mind a longer day trip is by Riceville, IA.   They have semi trailers parked there.   The food is produced in Howard and Mitchell counties mostly.   Have a meal that hasn’t traveled over 50 miles.   I challenge our listeners to make a note of how far their next meal has traveled.  

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will  be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.