No Farmers, But There Are Plenty of Tables!
All this hype about farm to table crops and livestock!
All the restaurants are claiming their serving farm to table dishes.
Not a word about the shortage of farmers!
It’s time for a reality check!
Young farmers are facing incredible odds and are getting little support.
The average age of the American farmer is 58 years old.
Six percent are under the age of 35 years old.
In the U.S., 63 percent of farmland is about to be passed on, and many of these older farmers will need to sell their land or lease it in the next five years.
Unfortunately in many cases, that transition just isn’t happening.
Banks, equity firms, and large corporate farms are buying up the land instead.
Between 2007 and 2012, the number of farm operators in the U.S. dropped by 90,000, while the number of young farmers increased by only 1,200.
Thi is frightening!
“The USDA says that we need to inspire 100,000 new farmers over the next decade, or we are going to get more consolidation and more imports from overseas if you want to be a thriving country; you have to grow and produce locally. We’re not nearly keeping up,” says Representatives Chris Gibson (R-New York)
We worry about climate change affecting our soil.
We worry about pesticides affecting our crops and health.
We are angry about the low wages farm workers are paid.
If we don’t have any future farmers coming up the ranks, it’s not going to matter what shape our environment is in or the unfair wages paid to farm workers.
There are many new programs and policies in the works trying to keep and attract this next generation of farmers.
In response to the demand from young folks interested in sustainable agriculture, new farmer training, and apprenticeship programs are sprouting up all over the country.
Timing is everything as they say and with the farm to table trend continuing its rise I felt a need to tell it like it is.
If you are a new or already existing restaurant owner, think twice when ordering produce or searching out a produce purveyor.
Be conscience and support the local and USA farmer’s before purchasing out of the country produce into your restaurant and on your tables.
Ask about where your produce and meats are coming from!
No, Your Farmer Know Your Food!
Do Your Part and Help a Local Farmer Out!