Farm to Table
A relatively new term, but becoming very prominent in many restaurants and grocery stores! Several states have created new marketing campaigns to promote grain/produce grown within the state. Campaigns such as: “Indiana Grown”, “Ohio Proud”, and Illinois “Eat Local Grown” are being promoted by the respective state Ag Departments or Extension Services.
Customers are responding! They are searching for local products with the feeling they are not only getting fresher products, but also healthier products. Certainly those products have eliminated long transportation delays so indeed they are fresh from the farm to the table within hours instead of days.
These programs are not necessarily Certified Organic crops. Both conventionally grown and organic grown can be included. Again, these state-wide programs are emphasizing the idea of 'knowing where your food is produced.' In addition, they are supporting the local farmers and local communities. So, while organic grown may be a goal for some growers, conventional grown food that is shipped to the market in hours vs. days is the primary emphasis of locally grown. It provides an opportunity for restaurants and markets to be unique in providing fresh produce and food. They can even go so far as to 'put a name on it', and identify the local farmer that has grown it.
As the success of these campaigns indicates, those families are still interested in knowing where their food is produced. They want healthy, safe, fresh and tasty! Since they can no longer go to their garden or to a local farmer, their next best step is ‘home grown within the state’.
Are you in a position to take advantage of these campaigns? Are you producing fresh produce that can be sold directly to a restaurant or grocery? This could also include meat and dairy products. Have you thought of a small addition to your farming operation that could participate in a ‘Farm To Table’ campaign?