Farm to Fork: The Local Farmers

An excellent article from the Sacramento Press.

An excerpt.

“Sacramento is downright abuzz these days about the farm-to-fork movement, but does the enthusiasm translate into more income for local farmers? Sacramento-area farmers think so. They believe that heightened attention to the value and importance of local food is good for them as well as for the community.

“Farm-to-fork movement benefits local farmers

“Local farmers have been “doing” farm-to-fork for years—at least 30 years, as measured by the opening of one of the earliest Sacramento farmers markets by Dan and Renae Best in 1980. Even though direct marketing from farmers to consumers has been around for a long time, the new interest from consumers, chefs and local organizations is a boost to farmers’ visibility and bottom line. Although hard sales numbers related to the movement are not readily available, there are still clear effects, ranging from greater consumer awareness of local food sources to more sales opportunities for farmers.

“Dave Vierra, owner of Vierra Farms in West Sacramento, said that his farm was on the forefront of the farm-to-fork movement. Twenty years ago, his farm started selling pumpkins at their pumpkin patch. Ten years ago, they began growing produce for farmers markets and stores, and have seen an acceleration in demand in recent years. Vierra believes that the energy of the movement is particularly helpful to farmers wanting to sell to grocery stores. Consumers are asking more often for local food, which has made grocers “much more willing to work with small, local farmers and not just the big guys,” says Vierra. Raley’s and Nugget Markets have been “really opening their doors to small farmers,” adds Vierra.

“Feeding Crane Farms, established in 2011 within Sacramento city limits, is a newcomer to the urban farming scene. According to General Manager Shannin Stein, the farm-to-fork movement has “completely shifted sales demand.” Compared with last year, the farm planted 30 percent more this year. “As soon as we tell chefs we have something available, we can’t keep it in stock. We’re getting cleared out by chefs, Community Supported Agriculture boxes and markets,” said Stein.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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