Meet the 2BuyAg Team

Our mission is to create a better way to connect farmers and food buyers in real time.

Co-Founder and CEO: Kim Harrison

2BuyAg—what’s in our name? The reasonable business answer is that it takes two (2) people to have a transaction, a buyer and a seller. “Buy” is the process our digital marketplace streamlines. And “Ag” because our technology is farm-focused. Simply, we want to connect two people to sell or buy a farm product.

The “2” has a very special meaning to me also. Meet my two original farm border collies, Balou and Bella.

Farm Border Collie Bella Bella
Farm Border Collie Balou Balou

For many years, Balou herded our Katahdin Hair Sheep flock, moving more than 250 ewes and lambs from pasture to pasture on Harrison Valley Farms, our Central Missouri farm. As Balou aged, he needed help, so I bought a younger dog, Bella. These two dogs worked great together! Bella was keen, fast, and liked pushing the ewes forward. Balou was patient and calm, usually herding the stray lambs. Every morning, for several years, the call to work was, “Balou and Bella 2!”

The same trusting partnership built between these two border collies is what I hope 2BuyAg’s will do for our customers, the farmers and food buyers. It is my greatest desire that the collaborative culture at 2BuyAg exemplifies the power created from trusting partnerships. With the visibility, accessibility, and transparency 2BuyAg enables in our local, regional, national and global food supply chains this can lead to increased integrity. And more integrity is needed in our food supply chains, from the fair treatment of farm labor to truth in food labeling. Trusting partnerships lead to greater integrity.

So, the “2” in 2BuyAg represents several important points that I believe are necessary in trusting partnerships:

  • Trust – 2BuyAg connects farmers and buyers. It enables and encourages them to build lifelong trusting business partnerships through the visibility, accessibility, and transparency it creates in the supply chain.
  • Perseverance – Farming is a risky business and farmers need a network of trusted partners to help them sustain. 2BuyAg helps build partnerships that will stand the test of time.
  • Celebration – Farming – rural or urban – creates a sense of community, a sense of meaning, and a purpose that is bigger than oneself. 2BuyAg wants to build healthy communities and healthy people—this is worth celebrating.

Balou and Bella have since passed since the start of 2BuyAg. A sheep farm needs a border collie, so next in line for the herding job is Josie. Josie comes from southwest Missouri, near Bois D’Arc. Josie is a young dog, as of 2017. As she gets trained and I can use her to help me herd sheep, she and I will be the “2!”

Kim Harrison of 2BuyAg with Her Border Collie Josie
Co-founder Kim Harrison and border collie Josie

 

Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer: Olivia Vann

Co-Founder Olivia Vann
Co-Founder Olivia Vann

From the sunrise rooster crow to the evening screech owl scream, I have enjoyed growing up on our Harrison Valley Farms located in mid-Missouri. All the seasons of the farm were interwoven into school homework, sports, and fun with friends. Lambs, calves and garden planting in the spring; lawn mowing, garden tending and harvesting, baling hay and watching baby animals grow up filled our summers; wood-cutting, equipment maintenance, and winter preparation tasks kept us busy in the fall and then came winter.

If we had a lot of snow, you could find my sister and I sledding down the steep pond bank with our border collies riding with us or jumping on us as we plunged into the snow pile at the bottom. Winter was also the time to learn how to navigate snow-covered gravel roads driving the farm truck to our backwoods, end-of-the road farm!

With my farm background as a base, I attended the University of Missouri – Columbia’s (MU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Agriculture Economics. During my undergraduate program, I enjoyed the plant science studies, market research and feasibility studies for value added agriculture projects that I helped with. I wanted more from my education, so I continued and received my Masters of Business Administration from MU’s Crosby MBA Program. During my master’s program, I had the fortunate opportunity to work as a marketing intern for Bayer Animal Health’s Farm Animal Product division, gaining much experience and insight into the process of naming and branding a new global product and launching its support team.

I understand the importance of sustainable, regenerative and biodynamic farming on a local and global level and believe that 2BuyAg can truly have a positive impact on the future of agriculture. I’m excited to be a part of this venture!
 

Brand Manager: Ginger Bakos

Co-founder Ginger Bakos
Co-founder Ginger Bakos

I came on board with 2BuyAg as the Brand Manager. My past work coordinating marketing campaigns in the restaurant and fashion industries gives me a wealth of experience to draw upon to help tell the 2BuyAg story. I was a former franchise marketing director for Panera Bread, and was part of the senior management team at Anthropologie. I am educated in online marketing and social media marketing, as well as brand management and recognition.

My work as a writer, speaker, and Family Food Coach contacts me with a wealth of people that either want to have a more healthful and positive relationship with real food or are dedicated to helping people do this! I maintain my personal coaching website and food coaching blog, Dinosaurs Are Not Food, and am a regular contributor to “A Child Grows In Philly.”

Growing up in the rural Midwestern USA has given me the chance to live and work alongside farmers, and to understand when we support local farmers and producers, we also support our rural communities. My husband and I now live in Stow, Ohio with our two awesome boys, two orange cats and five backyard chickens.

My involvement with 2BuyAg excites me because I believe greater accessibility to healthy food is so necessary to improving family health and lifestyle choices. Transparency in the food value chain encourages integrity and builds the much-needed relationships between families and farmers. It’s a win-win!