Our vision is of local farmers using world class, technology-enabled methods that will increase local production and distribution of healthy affordable food to their communities.
To promote and advocate for innovation in local and regional U.S. food systems.
The Standard American diet is a major contributor to diet-related chronic diseases - such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dental disease, and osteoporosis.
About half of all American adults - 117 million individuals - have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. Both a change of attitude and greater availability of healthy food will be needed to effect a change away from diets primarily containing high amounts of sugar and highly processed foods.
Small and mid sized farms cannot effectively compete by growing commodity crops like corn, soybeans, and wheat. There is a substantial opportunity for them to profitably produce healthy food in the context of local food systems.
In 2015, the USDA Local Food Marketing Practices Survey recorded $3.0 billion in direct-to-consumer sales, along with $2.4 billion more in direct-to-retail sales and an additional $3.4 billion in institutional or local intermediary direct sales, by 167,009 U.S. farms. The doubling in value of direct-to-consumer sales alone alongside a less than 15 percent increase in the number of farms reporting these sales suggests a potential value in expanding food production and sales among existing farms, and midsize farmers.
To meet the growing demand for healthy food, small and mid sized (local) farmers must make use of affordable, world-class technologies and farm management practices in both production and distribution.