Matt Szechenyi of Briars Farmsted in Boyce, Virginia
1. By getting to know your farmers, you get to know their integrity, the integrity of their land and crops and the integrity of their farming and labor practices. You can then choose farmers whose values align with your own.
2. You can ask them questions to learn about what you are eating and drinking. You can ask about their use of pesticides and other practices. This allows you to take charge of your health and can help you decide which foods to consume or not consume.
3. You can challenge your perspectives and potential bias on various subjects. As mentioned, you can ask them questions and learn from them. This can generate valuable, educational, and potentially transformational, conversations. You might come away from the conversation with an entirely different view on a subject.
Joan Bybee of Mesteño Draw Ranch in New Mexico
4. Farmers are valuable members of the community. By getting to know them, you get to make connections in your community and form great, long lasting and meaningful relationships.
5. Farmers have connections with other farmers and food producers. They might be able to help you find that rhubarb or local honey you have been searching for.
6. Seeing and knowing the person who grows your food and drink might make you appreciate it more and waste it less.
Randy and Libby Buchler of Shady Grove Farm in Michigan
7. Knowing and supporting your farmer strengthens your local economy and community. Also, continuing to support them through regular purchases might help them stay in business. Small farms have been having a hard time remaining viable and more and more shutter their barn doors every day. Therefore, your continued support helps them continue to farm.
8. Knowing and supporting your local farmers is good for the environment because buying local reduces the number of miles that food has to travel to make it to your plate.
Michael Protas of One Acre Farm in Maryland
9. Sometimes farmers allow customers to tour their farms. Your new friend who farms might invite you to see the farm and learn about food and how it grows. Maybe they will even have you over for a meal after with some fresh and delicious foods.
10. As mentioned, farms are shutting their doors and many younger generations are not interested in pursuing farming as the great livelihood that it is. By getting to know the farmers, what they do and how valuable they are, you or your friends and family might be inspired to get into farming.
There truly is an endless number of reasons to know your farmer. So, what next? Where do you find them? Find, visit and buy from your local farmers and natural food producers at 1000EcoFarms.com!