WHY ARE FAMILY FARMS IMPORTANT?
"Freedom To Fail"
How U.S. Farming Policies Have Helped Agribusiness And Pushed Southern Farmers Toward Extinction
Family farmers in the South are being forced out of farming at an alarming rate. According to Farm Aid, 330 farmers leave their land every week. As a result, there are now nearly 5 million fewer farms than there were in the entire U.S. in the 1930's. Of the two million farms, only 565,000 are family operated. Furthermore, very few young people are becoming farmers. Half of all farmers are now between the ages of 45 and age 65.
In addition to producing fresh, nutritious,, high-quality foods, small family farms in the South provide a wealth of benefits for their local southern communities and regions. Perhaps more importantly they serve as stewards to the land. Unlike industrial agriculture operations, which contaminate communities with chemical, pesticides. noxious fumes and excess manure, family farmers strive to preserve the surrounding environment for future generations.
Family farms help support local southern businesses by purchasing goods and services within their communities. They help benefit the South by helping to preserve the connection between consumers, their food, and the land in which it was produced.
DID YOU KNOW?
- According to the EPA, 3,000 acres of productive farmland are lost to development every day.
- Between 1974 and 2002, the number of corporate-owned Southern farms increased by more than 48%.
- Most farms these days are "edge farms" located on the outskirts of urban and suburban population centers.
A List of Florida Farmers Markets for you to support