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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

2011 EDIES Story 7 of 24: Van’s Meat Locker’s transparency is revealing a new organic way of financing new product lines

When the 2011 Cedar Valley Dream Big Grow here business plan competition presented itself to win $5,000 Amy and Travis Fisher grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Using an internet voting system they shared their vision to invest in equipment that would allow them to be Iowa’s first/only certified organic meat locker. And though they did not win the cash this transparency in communicating their vision did win them a low interest loan, increased awareness and partnerships to move them closer towards actualizing their vision.  Remind me – what are the EDIES.

How we did it:
We found a great interest in the community and surrounding area for an organic certified meat locker was our greatest success and surprises from trying for the Dream In Iowa Grant.

How we got the idea:
We were approached by an area farmer if we would be interested in becoming organic certified with the State of Iowa. They had started raising organic beef and wanted to be able to sell their processed meat as certified organic. With their help we learned that as of press there is not a state certified meat locker in Iowa.  After trying for the Dream Big Grow Here grant we learned that there is a growing interest in the community for organic meat. This would bring a new clientelle to the City of Dysart for the other area businesses.

Our greatest challenge:
The state requirements to update and ad new equipment to our building.

How we overcame it:
We are still working on securing financing for the necessary updates.

Advice to others:
To look at every challenge as an opportunity to find a new avenue to achieve your end goal.

What’s Next:
Van’s Meat Locker is having a special open house on Tue. March 13, 2012, 7 p.m. This is a part of the Tama County Business Chrysalis behind-the-scenes series that happens every three months so businesses in Tama County can learn from and support each other. Everyone is welcome. There is no cost. If you are interested in attending, please contact joanne@tamacountyiowa.org or (641) 484-3108.

For more information about Van’s Meat Locker listen to their radio interview on 1230AM KFJB Radio, at 12:45 p.m. January 16, 2012.

Photo by Randy Aiken [Travis Fisher]

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