Rising fuel and fertilizer prices along with ongoing supply chain issues have been devastating for our farmers. From 2019 to 2020, farm expenditures increased by 28%. Adapting to these changes and rising costs isn’t easy. With it being so unpredictable, farmers don’t know what actions to take year-to-year to ensure that they can make a profit. Financially, farmers are in a tough spot. At the same time, our local area lacks healthy, affordable food. Large parts of our county are defined as food deserts by the USDA. Luckily, there is a way for us to help each other.
A Way to Help A fantastic opportunity for both our community and farmers is increased participation in farmers’ markets. At the farmers’ market, consumers can find fresh, high-quality products that were grown right here in Florida. Our local farmers sell a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that you could use in all sorts of recipes. The best part of it all is that the money spent at the farmers’ market is an investment in the local community. For farmers, due to Mexico’s intrusion on the produce market, there haven’t been enough buyers of Floridian produce. The purchases made at the farmers’ market provide people with healthy food while also easing the hardships farmers are facing. All together, these markets help bolster our local economy and food supply.
So please buy and enjoy our locally grown produce -It’s a tasty way to invest in your community. Follow this link to find out more about our farmers’ markets: https://go.ufl.edu/teqnb9x
Support Programs Recent events have been difficult for many people. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) supplies coupons to WIC recipients to use at eligible farmers’ markets. Authorized farmers can sell approved goods to these customers.
For farmers, you may want to look into the “Fresh from Florida” program. The program uses a marketing approach to help boost the prices you receive for goods. Also, by working with your local Extension office, you can ensure that you’re using the best practices available and are informed of any opportunities that may arise.
We’re always here to help you so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Guest Blog Author: William Gendron, UF FRE Student Intern