Cleveland area farmers and local activists are pushing Congress to include urban farming measures in the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill, hoping that a national urban farming movement could help reinvigorate sluggish local economies.
Cleveland is hardly the first major U.S. city to embrace urban farming measures. Cities across the country (including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco) are rewriting local ordinances to allow larger and larger urban farm plots within municipal borders.. While the movement has deep roots in the United States (it was used during the late nineteenth century in major urban centers to combat economic depressions and, more famously, as a part of the national war effort during World War II), its more recent incarnation appears more permanent, with supporters claiming that it has the ability to radically transform agricultural production in the U.S.
Cleveland farmers recently testified to the importance of urban farming at a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing. “Urban farmers are real farmers who can create jobs and grow fresh produce to help our cities,” one farmer testified. “We need and deserve the same assistance given to rural farmers so we can grow and thrive.”
The major focus of Cleveland farmers’ concerns were access to farm credit. Like other farmers, urban agricultural producers frequently require access to credit to guarantee ongoing production and to guarantee access to necessary agricultural tools like storage, coolers, and tractors.
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer