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Farmer Focus Expands Distribution, Promotes Executives

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Harrisonburg, Virginia-based Farmer Focus is finishing 2022 with the expansion of its product line into Publix stores and a new partnership with Safeway in the mid-Atlantic region.

With the addition of 750 new stores, Farmer Focus will be available in more than 3,100 stores throughout the East Coast and Midwest, including other major retailers like Kroger and Harris Teeter.

To support and expand on this growth, Farmer Focus has promoted Stephen J. Shepard to president and COO. Additionally, Kathryn Tuttle has been promoted to chief commercial officer.

“The promotion of Stephen and Kathryn furthers our mission to promote and protect generational farming while prioritizing animal welfare and growing the organic category as a whole,” said Corwin Heatwole, founding farmer and CEO. “We are excited to continue developing our team and leveraging their experience to grow our business and network of family farmers.”

Prior to his promotion, Shepard served as EVP of operations for Farmer Focus since April. He brings more than 16 years of experience in poultry plant and farm operations and is passionate about Farmer Focus’ emphasis on employee safety and well-being. In his new role, Shepard will focus on increasing production capacity while reducing the company’s greenhouse gas footprint and increasing environmental sustainability to meet the needs of customers.

“I am excited to lead our team as we service new and existing customers with the additional capacity from our 2022 plant expansion,” Shepard said. “Our continued growth is creating a positive impact for our retailer partners, our independent family farmers and our planet.”

Tuttle, who joined Farmer Focus as CMO in 2020, brings more than 20 years of marketing and commercial strategy experience to her new role as chief commercial officer. In her expanded role, she will oversee sales, marketing and new product innovation.

“Addressing the changing needs of consumers is more critical than ever to help our retail partners win. Our team is stronger than ever and poised to increase value for both our consumers and retail customers,” Tuttle said. “Our teams understand what value means to the modern poultry consumer and are attracting loyal consumers to the organic category.”

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