Did you see the piece in the New York Times recently that warned: “Don’t let your children grow up to be farmers”?
Bren Smith’s headline in the op-ed is a warning about what is happening in U.S. agriculture. Taken from real life farming experience, the article explains why we might not want to encourage our children to become farmers…
Most farms operate at a loss, even in their best years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the median income for farmers was negative $1,453. This year is looking even worse. The department estimates that in 2014, median farm income will drop to negative $2,534. Smith wrote that the recent increase in farmers markets has only pushed growers to cut back prices to stay competitive. The solution, he said, is for farmers to become part of the food movement—which has been missing their voice. ~ Bren Smith, The New York Times, Aug 9, 2014
Hearing the farmers voice. That is one thing we ARE doing at The Produce Box. We listen to what our farmers say they NEED. When Kevin talks to farmers the conversation goes something like this:
Farmer: What will you pay me for my crop?
Kevin: Well, what do you NEED to sell it for?
Farmer: Really? You will pay me what I NEED rather than rock bottom?
Think about it this way, when was the last time your boss asked you “What is the least amount of money I can pay you to do your job?” Or when was the last time you took the opportunity to ask your boss for a raise or were given one without asking? How does a farmer ever get a raise?
At The Produce Box, we like to think that what we pay is giving our farmers a raise! We can do that THANKS TO OUR MEMBERS. You ordering your box each week makes a huge difference for our farmers. A farmer’s voice and a farmer’s needs are foremost in our minds. One of our core beliefs is how we can help famers keep farming, pay their bills and lose a little of the stress and worry along the way. Because, without our farmers, what will we eat?