Monday, September 23, 2013

"We just need more farmers"

Smaller scale food processing plants are needed to grow new farms and to help existing farms diversify.

Without safe, legal processing facilities there is no way new farms and new foods can reach the market efficiently.

Their first hurdle is getting into the game financially.  The expense of starting can be daunting.

My pal Terra Brockman is quoted in a recent article on this subject:

"Younger farmers are having difficulty breaking into agriculture, and the reasons mostly boil down to land and capital, said Terra Brockman, founder of Bloomington-based agricultural organization, The Land Connection."

But once these new young farmers are in the game, what do we do to help them grow their businesses?  Sure there are farmer's markets and CSA programs, but I'm convinced we need smaller scale, appropriately equipped food processing plants to move the bounty of these small farms into the wider marketplace year round.

“There’s never been a public more conscious about their eating habits,” he (Dylan Cook) said. “For what it is, it’s never been easier. We just need more farmers.”

The demand for regional foods and specialty foods has never been higher.  Unless we provide our new farms the processing plants to take their foods to market year round we are not going to solve this problem.

Farming can be tough road to hoe for the young.  Bloomington (IL)

The Land Connection.  Healthy farms and healthy food for beautiful Central Illinois.  Great work Terra and friends.

Photo for a Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen farm customer marketing their produce year round.

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