Fresh choices for farmers—and consumers
With skyrocketing energy costs driving up the other costs of farm operation management, families all over our territory are finding that creativity is the order of the day. It’s a time to be resourceful and dynamic—and to meet the demands of a choosier consumer, one that increasingly expects products to be “local” as well as fresh and affordable. Young and beginning and small farmers are finding a home in the Farm to Market community.
It’s no surprise that farm to market programs are becoming so popular. After all, they’re ideal for the seller, the buyer, and the agricultural community. Farmers are able to pick produce at the peak of flavor. Because locally grown produce does not travel as far to get to the table this saves mileage and marketing costs for the farmer, while allowing them to offer a fresher, tastier product. Buyers also realize this advantage and are replacing processed food with fresher, healthier products, greater seasonal variety and nutritional value, and better pricing. Farm to market operations also benefit the community by offering a link between rural and urban populations, opening the eyes of non-farming neighbors to the world of ag industry.
This page is intended to provide a resource for supporting farmers the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee and to provide consumers with a resource to find fresh, local food that supports members of their own community.
- FarmLink – The FarmLink Program works to keep Northeast Ohio’s farmland in farming. We help those who need farmland access to connect with landowners wanting to keep their property in agricultural use.
- Local Harvest – Use this website to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area. Learn where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
- Community Farm Alliance of Kentucky – CFA’s mission is to organize and encourage cooperation among farmers, rural, and urban citizens, through leadership development and grassroots democratic processes, to ensure an essential, prosperous place for family-scale agriculture in our economies and communities.
- Organic Consumers Association -The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
- American Farm Land Trust – American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms.
- Tennessee Specialty Food Association- The Tennessee Specialty Food Association provides education, networking and peer support, sales and marketing opportunities, publicity and technical assistance for our members so that member companies may grow and flourish, thereby strengthening and improving the long term viability of the food and farm sector of the Tennessee economy.
Farmers Markets Location Tools
- National Directory of Fruit Stands and Farmers Markets
- Indiana- Download a directory of the state’s U-Pick Farms, Farmers’ Markets or Agritourism Destinations
- Kentucky- Search the state’s farmers markets by county or download the Farmers Market Manual for 2010-2011
- Ohio- Select by county, product, name, or use our interactive map of Ohio to find a Farmers Market in your area.
- Tennessee- Search for markets by region in the state.
Farm Market Associations
- Indiana Farmers Market Association-IFMA provides its members with information, publicity and materials, which help improve their markets. IFMA also works with Purdue University to offer every service they have available to our members
- Kentucky Farmers Market Association- The Association seeks to provide a conduit for individuals and markets from across the Commonwealth to share information and support. By organizing, farmers and markets have gained a voice in decisions being made about our industry, as well increased buying power and a stronger position for negotiations.
Agritourists can choose from a wide range of activities that include picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey, learning about wine and cheesemaking, or shopping in farm gift shops and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts, among other things. Here are some resources for identifying opportunities in your area.