Distinguish Between Farmer and Food Producer

As I was a writing a piece about food policy (nothing like trying to wrap-up agricultural policy in 500 words when the Farm Bill itself is 1,770 pages), a clear distinction stood out between a “farmer” and a “food producer.”

farmer vs. food producer

To me, and I think to many of us, “farmers” are those who work the land. They’re the ones who get dirt under their fingernails and whose eyes light up when conversation turns to compost. But while that may be the portrait for the people growing your food, it isn’t necessarily the portrait of the people who own America’s farmland or who are producing your food.

Let’s start out with some basics. First, nearly half of the country—over 1 billion acres—is farmland. Yet only 4% of the owners own nearly 50% of that farmland. And according to data from the USDA, there is a very high correlation between sales volume and how directly involved the owner/operators are with the actual land. Take, for instance, small-scale family farms (which make up 90% of the number of farms in the US). Their owners do 70% of the labor themselves. Bump up to a very large-scale family farm or a non-family farm and the number drops to only 19%.

This means that as farms grow into bigger and bigger businesses, the ones who own and operate them are more likely to be managers and marketers and accountants and less likely to be actual farmers. In other words, they move along the continuum from “farmer” to “food producer.”

This week, if you're curious, Google the company behind the label on your produce or packages and see if you can find dirt under their fingernails.

 

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

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Watch the video and download the customized action plan to take the first step on your nourish evolution now.

Watch the video and download my customized action plan to take the first step on your nourish evolution now.

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