This is in from a farmer in Indiana expressing some of her concerns with the hope for local and organic but not seeing the supply and the availability step up to meet the demand, Phyllis Bergiel. Maybe collectively we can come up with some solutions. I especially agree with the need to find other distribution means than Sat farmer only Farmers market. I think the source purchasing is great but we must be realistic too and don’t want to see our farmers burn out.
On the near retirement note I hope that farmers
are seeking young entrepreneurial entering farmers to shadow them and work out a
plan to invest in the existing structure to hopefully buy it out or at least co
manage. This would train upcoming ones and in some circumstances create a relationship
between the experienced and less experienced farmer to continue the farm and allow
the less experienced farmer to obtain excellent training.
At 10:45 AM 3/7/2008, you wrote:
Oops, that got sent before I finished typing. Anyway, people
contact me for advice, and I hate to be discouraging, but we really have much
more demand here than supply (vegetables), and I'm not seeing anyone jumping in
to fill that demand. On the other hand, we have a lot more meat but
processing and getting into the Illinois market problem. If we don't have
a solution soon, folks will just give up - I'm beginning to see that
happening. We need a real leader up here who can be full time dedicated
to some of this problem. Someone who can:
Put potential new farmers into contact with grants
Put possible processor projects into contact with existing farmers and grants
Develop other venues besides Saturday markets (tough to clone oneself)
Cut through the piecemeal bureaucracy that is Lake County - health departments etc.
Cut through the Berlin Wall that is the state line for meat producers and processors
Work with communities to keep some zoning to encourage "truck" and small livestock farming
I've spoken to Tom Jordan, Jerry Nelson and a few others, but this peri-urban area is so unique when compared with other areas of the state- we are really a bedroom community of Chicago. We are urban poor north, with pockets of older money, and we are suburban-developing-Illinois-immigrants midcounty and rural south County.
Those of us actually in the businesses are trying, but we are spread so thin now; many are older and nearing retirement, others are burning out quickly - I sort of feel like I'm throwing out a message in a bottle here - if you can think who would be of help, please forward..
From: Joy N. Landis [ mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Fri 3/7/2008 9:11 AM
To: Phyllis Bergiel
Subject: Keeping NW Indiana farmer markets and sources vital
These do sound like difficult restraints with no simple solutions. I
am primarily the editor who makes the web site run, but will forward
your comments to others in the New Ag Network for potential insight
or collaboration. Best regards for your endeavor -- Joy Landis
At 04:45 PM 3/3/2008, you wrote:
>Dear Ms. Landis:
>Due to the current restriction on Interstate shipment of meats, my
>company, Farm Direct Meat, and all the small family livestock
>farmers we represent are shut out of the lucrative Chicago
>market. If there is any assistance you can give us in this matter,
>we would certainly appreciate it.
>A further issue is that many Indiana vegetable growers bypass our
>NW Indiana growing farmers markets for Chicago. Any assistance you
>can give us on finding local, especially organic vegetable and fruit
>growers for Indiana markets would be appreciated.
>President, Farm Direct Meat, LLC
>From: New Agriculture Network on behalf of Joy N. Landis
>Sent: Mon 3/3/2008 7:11 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Some free booths at Green City Market, Chicago
>ATTENTION FAMILY FARMS! Green City Market is looking for beginning farmers.
>GREEN CITY MARKET is the only sustainable farmers' market in
>Chicago. It supports small family farms in Illinois, Indiana,
>Michigan, and Wisconsin that use sustainable or certified organic
>agricultural practices. Part of our mission is to introduce
>beginning farmers to our shoppers - chefs, restaurateurs, food
>service operations and the public. A limited number of free market
>spaces are available to qualified just-starting-out farmers who want
>to try our market. Normally, the cost for a booth is $850/year for
>both Wednesday and Saturday attendence.
>For more information, please contact Roman Solowski at
>[log in to unmask] or call the office at (773) 435-0280. The
>2008 season opens May 14th and runs through October 29th, every
>Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, please visit
> www.chicagogreencitymarket.org < http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/> .
>Sent to New Ag Network by:
>Kathleen R. Seus
>Interim Executive Director
>Green City Market
>< http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/> <
>< http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/> >
>Joy Neumann Landis
>Asst. IPM Coordinator and Communications Mgr.
>Michigan State University Integrated Pest Management
>B18 National Food Safety & Toxicology Bldg
>East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
>Phone: (517) 353-4951 Fax: (517) 353-4995
>< http://www.ipm.msu.edu/> ********************************************
Joy Neumann Landis
Asst. IPM Coordinator and Communications Mgr.
Michigan State University Integrated Pest Management Program
B18 National Food Safety & Toxicology Bldg
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Phone: (517) 353-4951 Fax: (517) 353-4995
Web: http://www.ipm.msu.edu ********************************************