Food Systems

Food Systems

Rick Worthington
Rick Worthington
Farmers markets are just one example of community food systems, which are a growing trend.

Erin McKee with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy runs a program that helps schools and day care centers buy from local farmers.

She'd like to expand the system, but said processors and markets are friendlier to industrial agriculture.

"So if we want to support those small to mid-sized farmers, we also need to support growing the infrastructure again to provide them a place to sell their food and to process their food and to get it to the customers that exist."

She they want to hold elected officials accountable for provisions in the Farm Bill that support community food systems.

Land and markets are hard to come by for young people who want to farm.

Eric Sannerud farms hops and says he'd like to grow his farm, but he needs access to credit and markets beyond craft breweries.

"The opportunity to shift into more specialty production or to move your marketing closer to your farm - removing some middle folks and giving you more control over your operation, your livelihood - is something that is huge for growers."

He says community food systems are better at protecting the environment than the industrial systems.

McKee said both producers and consumers deserve a better food system.

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