Following on the heels of the Department of Agriculture’s Know Your Farmer campaign, several states throughout the country are making significant efforts to reconnect farmers and agricultural producers with local consumers.
In Wisconsin, for example, University of Wisconsin-Madison officials hosted an Agriculture Day on campus earlier this week. Officials from the local Farm Bureau as well as students affiliated with the university’s agricultural colleges set up booths across the campus, handed out string cheese, and answered questions about the agricultural industry in Wisconsin, pointing out the major impact that agriculture has on the local economy.
In Tennessee, local and state officials have suggested that agri-tourism is a potential solution to stagnant state economies. In Marshal County, Tennessee, for example, farmers and county officials have suggested orchard picking, fishing, family farm horse rides, and Christmas tree production and harvesting as ways that locals could be induced to visit farms throughout the county.
These various plans to reconnect locals with agriculture are part of a larger campaign nationwide to demystify agricultural production. Various USDA regulations and rule changes have all sought to strengthen local agricultural farmers and encourage local demand for produce. Agriculture continues to be a major part of the U.S. and local job market. Increasing local demand for farm goods helps bolster state revenues, and helps create local jobs in states hit hardest by the recession.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer