The Importance of Supporting Local Farmers


Lydia Brady, Reporter

“Once in your life you’ll need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, and a preacher, but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.” – Brenda Schoepp

To some, going to a big-chain grocery store might seem easier and more practical than making a trip to the local farmers market, but there are countless benefits of buying food directly from farmers. Farmers are needed in daily life, as they produce everything we eat. Producing quality vegetables and fresh meats to so much more, farmers are constantly needed and underappreciated

There are often  issues with the preservation and food safety surrounding food that is kept in bulk. Foods such as raw meats go through many stages of preparation and preservation in order to sit on grocery store shelves for copious amounts of time. This meat is also packaged in warehouses where diseases can spread amongst the raw food, easily infecting employees (“Meat Processing Workers Fight for Safer Working Conditions” – ). Often, people do not know where that meat comes from, and just try to trust that it is safe to eat. When buying from farmers, you can be assured that the food you are buying is locally grown and does not contain any preservatives that might be found in food kept in grocery stores. Depending on the type of product, in some cases the food bought from a farmers market is cheaper than it would be at a grocery store.

Though buying from farmers markets has obvious health benefits, it also has social benefits. If you consistently go to the same farmers market, then you might build a relationship with the farmers selling there. Whereas, at a grocery store, the employees often vary and might not be as passionate about their jobs like farmers are. 

Supporting local farmers also helps support the local economy where the food is produced. If local farmers are not supported, they will end up having to work for large corporations and manufacturers, leading to a dependency on those corporations and a lack of choice of where our food comes from. Those conglomerates would dictate the price and quality–often poor– of the products they provide, as many already do. Although big manufacturers employ substantial amounts, the working conditions are often poor, with employees being exposed to extremely dangerous chemicals and the biological hazards that occur due to handling live animals (Meatpacking – ). A local farmer, on the other hand, employs family and other community members, with a vested interest in the business.