ChopLocal is, at its core, about people and community. Jared and I (Katie) started this company a year ago in order to help individual farmers and small business owners compete against the massive corporations that currently control the meat supply chain in the United States.
The newest member of our team not only deeply understands our mission and the people and communities it affects, but he excels at getting to know people and finding solutions to their problems.
Mark Putney, ChopLocal’s new Director of Business Development, is an experienced farmer and project manager from Elgin, Iowa. He will be working to support ChopLocal’s current sellers and expand the network to include sellers from other regions of the United States.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mark for several years through my previous role at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, where Mark has been a member of the board of directors since 2014. Ask someone to describe him, and “people person” is the first term that comes to mind. Mark seems to know everyone, and if he runs across someone he doesn’t know, he’s quick to develop a relationship.
I’ve also witnessed him problem-solve and provide leadership through heated board discussions. His ability to listen to the needs of others and come up with creative solutions will be a huge asset to ChopLocal, its sellers, and its customers.
Mark grew up on a cattle operation in east central Iowa before attending Northwest Missouri State and Iowa State University. He holds bachelors degrees in Agriculture Business, Geography and Landscape Architecture.
Most of Mark’s professional career revolved around geographic information systems (GIS) software. After college, he worked for a software company in the construction industry before applying his skills in landscape architecture. His experience with software sales and implementation is a great benefit.
For the past ten years, Mark has worked full-time on the family’s beef cattle farm in northeast Iowa. He’s used precision agriculture, conservation strategies, and grazing management to improve the environmental footprint of the farm and increase its focus on regenerative agriculture. Mark continues to live there with his wife, Kari, and four children.
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