Driftless Region

Driftless Region

For operational purposes and to focus the recruitment, training and deployment of regenerative poultry farmers as well as physical and institutional support infrastructure, the Driftless Region is defined by an area of approximately 100 miles or up to two hours drive from the town of Stacyville, Iowa. The area covers the bordering region of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The goal is to optimize the speed of deployment, resource management and farmer recruitment to supply the poultry processing facility in the town of Stacyville, an asset acquired to anchor the region’s regenerative poultry system deployment.

The Driftless Region is an area targeted by the RAA as a focal point for regenerative poultry farming. The idea is to build a collective of institutions, farmers, consumers, business partners, legislators, and other stakeholders invested in and capable of contributing tangible benefits in achieving a regenerative poultry system for the region. This collective effort will be organized under an ecosystem management structure in which the RAA plays the role of convenor and coordinator of the multiple layers of partners and supply-chain infrastructure that needs to be acquired, engaged and sometimes built for farmers to raise the poultry and for it to move through the supply chain.

Through a multilayered set of partnerships, including the Minnesota Legislature, and the MN Department of Agriculture, the region has become a target for regenerative agriculture development with a focus on regenerative poultry as a regional anchor. Key roles are as follows: 

  • Tree-Range®️ Farms contracts production, operates processing facilities, manages the brand, and markets poultry regionally and nationally. 
  • Iroquois Valley Farms and Compeer Financial serve as anchor partners for access to capital to purchase land, working capital and building infrastructure. 
  • The City of Albert Lea serves as the host for building a regional larger-scale processing center where regenerative poultry is collectively branded with other products that fit a set of verifiable regenerative criteria and standard.
  • The RAA facilities access to training, technical assistance, business development services, regenerative poultry producers organizing, project development and management, and other critical ecosystem services.

Goals

  • To deploy a total of 200 regenerative poultry farms
  • To engage a total of approximately 50,000 acres from grain through poultry production
  • To anchor the deployment of Tree-Range®️ Chicken and Eggs as the foundation of building a regional competitive advantage for the region’s regenerative agriculture sector
  • To deploy a poultry processing facility out of Stacyville, Iowa
  • To build the concept and oversee the deployment of a regenerative agriculture value added development park out of Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • To build capacity to produce 10 million broilers under a validated, verifiable and certifiable regenerative poultry standard
  • To assemble a network of regenerative egg production farms to deliver upwards of 20.5 million eggs into the immediate markets
  • To establish the organizational, governance and management structures to ensure that the ownership, control and management of the regional system is done under a collective effort that delivers equitable returns to all who participate, just wages, dignity for workers, and ecological regeneration at an economically viable scale

Key Regional Partners

  • Albert Lea’s Economic Development Authority
  • Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs
  • Rural Advantage
  • Compeer Financial
  • Iroquois Valley Farms
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa
  • Savanna Institute
  • Austin Minnesota Welcome Center
  • City of Stacyville
  • Key legislators in Minnesota and U.S. house and senate