Know your food (oh, and your farmer!)

I’m excited about some things coming from the new USDA leadership, in particular this 3rd of 6 points that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack explained recently. Development in this area would go a long way to improving rural life: bringing greater respect to the farmer, making rural life more culturally and intellectually stimulating, and so on. 

Third, link local farm production to local consumption. Investments in local processing and storage facilities will allow for large scale consumers (e.g. schools, hospitals, small colleges) in rural communities to buy locally produced goods from smaller scale operations. These new and niche markets will leverage the wealth generated from the land, create jobs and repopulate rural communities.

This relates to USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program — an initiative that should decentralize and therefore  increase the security and health of the agricultural economy, as well as strengthen links between consumers and farmers!