Yesterday, the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program released a new report and an interactive website that illustrate how USDA programs help build local and regional food systems. Among the findings in the report: Every $1million in farm income from local and regional markets creates an average of 13 farm operator jobs.
This morning, NPR responded with their take: Local food is about food, and the USDA’s attempt to explain it in terms of jobs is an attempt to defend local food programs in a contentious political climate. The jobs argument, the article implies, is a tenuous one. “Hey, Locavores,” the title asks, “are you creating jobs?”
Well, with respect, our answer is a resounding “yes.”
I hope the season is going well for you! Take a break to enjoy a cool drink and kick back with our short and sweet summer newsletter, which includes updates on this year’s Ag Reinvestment Fund projects, along with farmers in the news, and new resources for farms.
Sonny Perdue is taking on a critical role at a critical time for American farmers. Net farm income is estimated to have dropped 28% since 2014, and across America farmers are feeling the strain of higher debt loads and lower prices, while struggling to stay viable in uncompetitive markets controlled by corporate giants.