Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and NOFA-VT Encourage Vermonters to Buy Direct from Local Farms this Year
April 28, 2022 | Montpelier, VT – Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and NOFA-VT are encouraging Vermonters to buy direct from their local farms as much as possible this season amidst rising fuel and supply costs.
Vermont’s farms are central to what many of us treasure about our state. They set the backdrop for our iconic scenery, feed our families, schools, and workplaces, provide the raw ingredients for the high-quality products for which our state is known, and create spaces for gathering. Farmers are the primary stewards of our working landscape and are on the front lines of building our state’s climate change resilience. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the effects of supply chain disruptions were being felt across the country, our local farms were near-by reliably providing fresh, nourishing food to people across the state.
However, running a farm is not an easy endeavor. Start-up costs can be prohibitive and the costs of maintenance and ongoing inputs are often high. So far this year, prices for farming inputs including fuel, seeds, building materials, packaging, hay, labor, and more have risen significantly.
“Now more than ever, Vermont farmers need support from us, their neighbors and community members. The best way you can help is by making a commitment to buy as much as you can directly from your local farmer,” said Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Anson Tebbetts. “This means signing up for a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) share or visiting their farm stand or your local farmers’ market.”
CSAs are particularly vital for farms because they provide a more reliable revenue stream and support the up-front costs associated with planting and preparing for a new season. Farm stands have also become an increasingly valuable avenue for farmers to directly provide a growing variety and volume of local products to consumers. Farmers markets continue to serve as a unique community connection and pivotal marketing opportunity for our agricultural community.
“When you buy from a local farm, you are investing in a thriving future for Vermont's agriculture,” NOFA Executive Director Grace Oedel said. “You are helping tend a secure, steady food supply close to home-- where all are nourished and land is well tended. Buying from local farmers ensures a vibrant future for our working landscape and our communities. Buying local is good for people and the planet!”
To find a CSA, farmers’ market, or farm stand near you, visit nofavt.org/love-food-love-farms.