“We don’t feed our cows. We feed our soil.” -Neill Lindley, Lindale Farms
Trying to represent the current state of American farming is a tall order. After all, who could possibly speak on behalf of all farmers? The sector is broad, diverse and impossible to accurately represent in a single article, blog post, report, or snappy hash-tag – much less a truck company’s re-branding effort.
Yesterday, the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program released a new report and an interactive website that illustrate how USDA programs help build local and regional food systems. Among the findings in the report: Every $1million in farm income from local and regional markets creates an average of 13 farm operator jobs.
This morning, NPR responded with their take: Local food is about food, and the USDA’s attempt to explain it in terms of jobs is an attempt to defend local food programs in a contentious political climate. The jobs argument, the article implies, is a tenuous one. “Hey, Locavores,” the title asks, “are you creating jobs?”
Well, with respect, our answer is a resounding “yes.”