Supporting Your Local Farmers

By: Sandra Benitez
Published on November 26, 2011
Last Updated on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 11:23 AM
Total Updates: 6

Do you run to the grocery stores to get your foods? Have you considered supporting your local farmers? Would you know even where to go for local produce? Are you familiar with co-ops?

Farming as a whole is a dying profession in the United States. Our government has stepped in regulations on what farmers can and cannot grow. Heavy taxes have been assessed on farmers growing crops such as tobacco, when it used to a primary stable in our industry. Instead farmers have been encouraged by our government to grow subsidized crops such as corn or soybeans. It amasses me that in today's economy that one could be discouraged from growing what they please on their own land.

So, now you're probably wondering how hard do the farmers really have it in this economy? Everyone needs food yes? Farms are rapidly disappearing at a staggering rate. Farm equipment alone can run one broke, being in the thousands upon thousands. This often causes farmers to go deep into debt with loans to afford the equipment. Farmland is also expensive to maintain along with the increasing costs of crops. Another major issue is developers want their land to assist in building up corporate America. With all these developments against them- family farming seems to be fading away.

But you can help the farmers with your support! I currently live in a community that is bustling still with the Mennonite farmers. Their simplified lifestyles and farming through the generations have seemed to hold them firmly rooted. Supporting your local farms can happen in a variety of ways. If you haven't been to a farmers market, it is an awe experience to see your local farmers selling their produce at often prices more reasonable than the grocery markets. Also our local farms deliver fresh milk straight to your doorstep!

Another way of supporting is to do a little research on the internet. I belong to a produce co-op that I had found through a yahoo group search. It allows me to order local produce on a bi-weekly basis. It is amazing to see how food actually appears even before it is shipped out (delayed) and put onto the grocery shelves. Another wonderful option to consider is to order your meat in bulk. I'm vegetarian; however my family still eats meat. I recently ordered 40 lbs. of chicken drums and it came out to a staggering 89 drums. That will suffice them for quite a bit.

Remember that by supporting our local farmers you are not only buying fresh produce but maintaining the jobs of hardworking individuals that are determined to bring you the best in produce and meats. It is also showing our government that we don't need to buy so many products overseas and supporting our local economy.