Recent demands for organic and locally grown food have proven to be a boon to Ameican farmers. Over the last several years, demand for organic food has been increasing. Exposés on major agribusiness, like the controversial movie Food Inc, have led many consumers to seek locally grown and organic food rather than rely on major agricultural corporations.
Jerry Baird, an organic farmer from East Tennessee, has received countless calls from restaurants and local consumer wanting clean, environmentally sound food. The farm-to-table trend has been revolutionizing farming in many small communities, both in aiding struggling farmers and recreating a sense of community between farmers and consumers.
In response to increased demand, more community supported agriculture (CSA) farms have popped up across the country. CSA farming allows consumers to buy shares in a local farm and receive weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables. CSA farms have exploded in number in recent years. In New Jersey, for example, some counties have reported a 1000% increase in the number of CSA farms over the last several years.
The USDA has recently attempted to foster this sense of communalism through their Know Your Farmer publicity campaign. The KYF program seeks to encourage consumers to buy locally and build better relations between producers and consumers. A healthy relationship between local producers and consumers, as well as a healthy agricultural economy, is vital to the economic recovery in the U.S. and for a stable agricultural economy in the 21st century.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer