Journal Winter 2017

Welcome to The Premier Issue of The Provender e-Journal

December 11th 2017

by Vicki Reich, Executive Director Provender Alliance You hold in your virtual hands the first ever digital version of the Provender e-Journal.  The Provender Journal has been educating and inspiring our membership for the last 34 years. As long-time members know, the paper Journal has been the place where members can share information on a wide range of topics from day-to-day struggles to the latest issues impacting our industry.  Going digital is not going to change the underlying principals [Read More]

New Year Thoughts from the Board of Directors

December 11th 2017

by Troy Eustice, Provender Board Member This time of year, a time of transition, with the change of seasons upon us and the New Year quickly approaching, is an excellent time to reflect on where we are, where we have been, and where we are going. Last week I was pondering this as I read the cover story in WholeFoods Magazine, in which Jeff Bezos—CEO of—was named the magazine’s Person of the Year. This was a controversial pick for [Read More]

Grow Ahead: Crowdfunding Climate Resilience

December 11th 2017
FairWorld Project

By Dana Geffner, Fair World Project Industrial agriculture and food production is a major contributor to climate change, and the small-scale farmers whose regenerative practices our future relies on are bearing the brunt of the impacts. In recent years, these farmers have experienced increasing pest pressure, decreasing yields and a quickly-changing landscape — all of which are threatening their livelihoods. Considering that small-scale farmers feed the majority of the developing world, the implications are serious. Agroecological strategies for combating climate [Read More]

Provender Conference Food Liaison Tours Smart Chicken

December 11th 2017

by Melissa Elkins, Community Food Co-op In early October, Community Food Co-op (Bellingham, WA ) staff members Melissa Arbiter, Downtown store meat manager; James Aikins, Downtown store kitchen manager; and I visited Tecumseh Poultry in Nebraska, more commonly known as Smart Chicken. All of us wanted to learn more about why their company is an industry leader that sets the highest standard for humane chicken processing in the United States. Our tour started at one of their organic farms, located [Read More]

Baking with Generations of Love

December 11th 2017

by Michelle O’Connor, Moxie Consulting In my childhood home, the smell of baked goods was not something exclusive to the holiday season; my siblings and I were often roused from slumber by the wafting aroma of orange danishes baking to perfect golden doneness as my mom prepared her daily offerings for the little bakery down the street. In my home now, this is not the case. Although I thoroughly enjoy baking, I only take the time to do it during [Read More]

Making Meetings “Magic”

December 11th 2017

by Tracy Parks, Think Productive USA Likely your organization relies on decisions made by teams and your organization relies on the work teams do. Ideally, teams show leadership and are creative. They work to resolve conflict, build on each other’s strengths, and work toward a common vision. On the flip side, teams can be a bit “messy”, too quick or too slow about making decisions, shy about making waves, mired in politics or posturing. Team meetings can become boring, wasteful, [Read More]

Two Ways to Make Traditional Chai Tea

December 11th 2017

By Ek Ongkar Khalsa / Mountain Rose Herbs With half of my family from North India, I’m fairly accustomed to the ritual of drinking chai. Not the frothy, ultra-sweet, flavored-milk drink you get from national coffee chains. I mean real chai, made from raw ingredients, and crafted to suit the individual’s preference—it never fails to surprise me how varied people’s tastes can be. Take my mom and my aunt, for example. They grew up in the same family, with the same Punjabi mother [Read More]

Choosing Your Words

December 11th 2017

By Carolee Colter & Mark Mulcahy Intentions matter but so does your choice of words. Certain words can trigger a negative reaction in the mind of the receiver while other words can open up hearts and minds. In general, negative language is demanding and blaming, and emphasizes what can’t be done. Positive language on the other hand focuses on the future, offers choices and emphasizes what can be done. Consider the contrast between “but” and “and” when connecting two clauses—and [Read More]