Everyone would like to see the family farm survive.There is a desire to support a way of life that has existed in America for hundreds of years.Consumers should support the family farm not just because of their way of life but because there are real benefits to buying products produced on a family farm.
Family farms are more likely to produce safe and fresh food without the excessive use of additives.This is true whether it is fruit, vegetables, beef, poultry or pork.They see what they produce as going on their own family tables.
A family farm will generally produce a mix of products as opposed to the large-scale farms,which plant single crops.By planting a mix of crops farmers help keep plant diversity alive.
A family farm is more likely to care for the environment, both soil and water, because they are connected to the land and animals. They are more likely to want to protect the environment for future generations and to be able to pass on a way of life.The family farm is indeed where they live and work.
Most family farms have an interest in preserving their community and are more likely to use techniques that protect natural resources and community health.
When a family farm goes out of business it is likely that the land will be open for development.This development can take on many forms–new houses, office buildings, or shopping centers.In communities that are shrinking rather than growing the loss of a family farm may mean that the land is left vacant and the local schools suffer the loss of even more children.Our rural communities are losing our brightest and best young people when they do not have a vision of the possibility of taking over the family farm.
Today a family farm is competing with food producers from all over the world.Their competitors are everyone from their neighbors down the road to gigantic industrial farms located all over the world.The business of farming is being revolutionized and the family farm is working hard on adapting to their new environment.Indeed, a small family farm cannot compete with the bohemoth factory farms on the basis of price since the economy of scale has a tremendous effect. Yet, many of these farms are beginning to market their comparative differences.They target those niche markets willing to pay a few cents more for a product they believe to be of better quality,safety and inline with their own philosophical ethics of how man should relate to his world in sustainable ways.
Family farms are an American tradition and an important part of our history, culture and heritage. We need to support family farms and keep this heritage alive.