There are many reasons why we should support local agriculture and producers:
Fresh and tasty food: Locally raised food has traveled a short distance from field to plate, so it often reaches you within 24 hours of harvest.
Build Community: When you buy direct from the farmer and producer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the producer, enhancing your eating experience by knowing part of the story about your food.
Support the regional economy: Buying locally keeps your money circulating within your community, supporting economic prosperity in your region.
Safeguard your family’s health: Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to make informed food choices.
Protect natural resources: The average food item grown and eaten in the United States has traveled 1,300-1,500 miles. 90% of the fossil fuels used in the world’s food system goes into packaging, transporting and marketing. Buying locally greatly reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.
Support family farmers: Family farmers who sell their products through national and international distribution channels receive little if any profit due to the costs of transport, packaging and advertising. When you buy from local farmers, the farmer receives a larger portion of the food dollar.
Protect farmland and our working landscape: The agricultural landscape that you and visitors to the area enjoy—lush fields of crops, grazing meadows, farm houses and barns—will persist only as long as the farms are financially viable. When you buy from these farms, you are helping to preserve rural livelihoods.
Keep your taxes in check: On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services. For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest or open spaces, governments spend 34 cents on services.
Local food is about the future: By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, that young farmers have the necessary markets to start new and viable agricultural businesses, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.
Adapted from Rutland Farm and Food Link www.rutlandfarmandfood.org