Good friend Michael Layton was talking to me the other day on the tennis court. He said “Tonight I’m going over to Emmett and I’m going to buy 1/4 of a cow.” I said do you have a big freezer and he said yes. It turns out that he ended up at a small ranch and the meat had been butchered for him. It was grass fed and he says so far the experience has been fabulous. So how in the world do I or anybody else find a rancher who will sell retail to a given customer. The answer comes from Jodi Oleen who has spent several years traveling from state to state to tell the story of modern agriculture. Oleen says the way producers are connecting to consumers is changing and moving toward a more digital focus. “There are many ways the producers can reach out to consumers. Digital is an enormous machine that we are just beginning to harness. That means social media, that means any kind of outreach like a website. What about bloggers, chefs, people that already have this large digital influence. If we can use them to connect from the pasture to the plate, we need to be doing that. Is there a representative in your county that you can get to know better.