KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A new Facebook group has created a virtual farmer’s market for the entire state of Kansas.
Rick McNary, a former minister from Potwin, KS, created the page. He said he thinks people are drawn to the page for good food and good people.
“It’s connecting people to farmers and ranchers who I admire greatly,” McNary said. “As a culture, those people are naturally hopeful and faith-filled people. To plant a seed in the ground and hope it’s going to grow… and to do it year after year after year.”
Customers say trips to a supermarket can be frustrating right now, so this is an alternative to make sure the fridge is stocked and money stays local.
Shop Kansas Farms has more than just meat and dairy products. You can find seeds, freshly baked bread, herbs and honey.
One of the groups selling in the Kansas City area is Hillside Honey Apiary.
Owners Shelley and Ty Martin say business might have been in jeopardy with postponed farmer’s markets and no school visits this spring, had it not been for the Facebook page.
“Especially during this season with the sales down, now we’re finding ourselves in the other direction and sales have been up, or at least helped us to stay kind of where we needed to be for the spring," Shelley Martin said.
Hillside Honey Apiary is located in a renovated high school building in Easton, KS. The Martins bought the business after Ty’s service in Afghanistan and was looking for a way to destress. Shelley grew up around beekeeping, learning the basics from her grandparents.
They use social media, like this group, to teach people about the beekeeping process which helps them connect to the community and drive business.
“When you shop local, especially regularly, you develop those relationships. It’s just part of where you’re at. The money goes back into the school system or local firefighters and first responders and stuff like that,” Ty Martin said.
McNary said the page is all about building relationships.
“That’s been one of the most fulfilling things for me, is to see posts made about ‘I went over to buy some beef and we sat down and had coffee for an hour and a half,’” he said. “That person will buy beef off of that farmer for the rest of their lives because of their story and their connection.”