ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Since 2020, Americans have embraced delivery services like never before.
As more people want their meals and groceries brought to their doorstep, local farmers are adapting and embracing the change, including Bruce and LeeAnn Waugh down in southeastern Minnesota.
The Waughs founded Cannon Valley Ranch in 1984 in Goodhue, in the Cannon River Valley. On their ranch, they're raising roughly 170 angus cows and calves, as well as 40 red haired Wagyu cattle. They sell dozens of premium beef products from ground beef, summer sausage and steaks.
"We're about halfway between Twin Cities and Rochester here, so we do the farmer's market in Rochester," Waugh said.
When the pandemic hit, they saw an opportunity to reach an even bigger customer base as people started changing the way the shopped for their food.
"I don't think we'll ever gonna quite go back to the way we were," he said.
So they're customers where they are -- at home. The Waughs are one of 35-plus farmers doing weekly fresh-food deliveries through a service called Market Wagon, which just launched in the Twin Cities in October 2021.
"You don't have to go to a farmer's market on a specific date. You can just order it online and it'll show up at your door," Waugh said.
Unlike other delivery services where it may benefit you to buy in bulk, with Market Wagon you can buy one item or dozens, or maybe even one item from 20 different Minnesota farmers, and you'll only pay the same flat delivery fee of $6.95.
"That really allowed us to branch out to the Twin Cities and do it efficiently," Waugh said.
Market Wagon also allows Bruce and LeeAnn to sell their beef every week of the year, eliminating the short season of the summer farmer's market in Minnesota.
"The year-round thing is, you know, I mean we have bills every month, you know, just like everybody else does. And it's certainly nice to be able to have you know, that cash flow," Waugh said.
While not much good can be said about the pandemic, for farmers, they've found at least one silver lining to it.
"I think people figured out I have great food that's raised right here in Minnesota," Waugh said.
Market Wagon reaches a seven-county region around the Twin Cities. Click here for more information.
for more features.