Summary of “Foodie Localism Loves Farming in Theory, But Not in Practice”

A few years ago, as the co-owner of a direct-market vegetable farm, my life revolved around harvests and freeze dates, farmers’ market sales and enrolment numbers for our Community Supported Agriculture programme.
The economic realities for farmers still sit uncomfortably alongside the practice of many farmers’ markets.
A fellow farmer and I began composing an op-ed under the working title ‘No More Fucking Farmers’ Markets’.
The USDA’s aforementioned Trends in US Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress confirms this: ‘While the growth in farmers’ markets signals increased consumer interest, for some local food farmers, marketing food in multiple locations can increase marketing and transportation costs, reducing overall net farm income.
During the years in which farmers’ markets took off, the US lost 4.3 per cent of its farms, continuing a downward trend that began in the 1950s.
Net farm income is projected to go down, as are farm asset values.
While local food has emerged as an alternative to industrial food, many people have simply transferred their expectations from the grocery store to the farmers’ market.
Obvious options include expanding Individual Development Accounts for beginning farmers and adding farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programme through the Young Farmer Success Act.

The orginal article.