(OTO, IOWA) - The first week of July, Iowa Farmers Markets turned to mobile technology.
Farmer Jim Brown brings his fruits and vegetables to the Sioux City Farmers Market from his garden in Oto, Iowa. He explains meeting his customers face-to-face is a reward far greater than money and introducing that produce to kids is the reason he keeps coming back to sell.
Years ago, Jim Brown grew corn and soybeans, not knowing where his food was going.
"I was selling to the elevator or to IBP or to the pack and I didn't know where the stuff was going. I mean I had a pretty good idea, but I didn't know where it was going," said Farmer Brown.
Today, it's a different story.
"Now I know the first names of many of my customers that eat my broccoli and buy my sweet corn and seedless watermelons," said Brown.
Jim said on his ride home from the Farmers Market, all he's thinking is that his customers energize him to plant more.
"It's part of the pay to know that there's people who buy my produce and who really, really like it and I get to have them tell me face to face that my stuff just tastes so good and so fresh and nice," Brown explained.
What pays off even more is seeing kids browsing through the market. So Farmer Brown found a niche for teaching.
"That's one thing I enjoy at the market a lot is the children and giving samples to kids and having kids taste something that they've never tasted before in their life and then if they like it, it's like whoa!" laughed Brown.
Whether it's the kids or the adults, Jim appreciates each and every one of his customers at the market.
"If it wasn't for them, do you really I'd be doing this? Uh uh. Uh uh," said Brown.
Someone even told Jim he saw his sweet corn and seedless watermelons on Facebook. Farmer Brown was impressed.
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