In today's economy crisis with high fuel prices and banking woes, there is something positive that may come out of it. As many have realized, food prices at grocery stores across the country are increasing out of control. This is due to increased shipping costs from the higher fuel prices. Because of this, many have returned to buying certain things locally. Food grown in a person's home town doesn't have the added shipping fees, and 'produce' is one of the main commodities benefiting in the economy.
Local farmers have always struggled due to weather such as drought or frost. They never know from year to year how they will do when they have to go up against the bigger corporate farm entities. But now they seem to be gaining a slight edge. The bigger companies that are in the business have to ship product all over the country. Their customers are not confined to one area, so they incur large shipping fees that they then pass on to their customers, the grocery stores, in the form of higher prices. The grocery stores cannot afford to absorb the higher costs, so they in turn pass it on to the consumer. Local farmers do not have to deal with this issue, and therefore seem to have lower prices than the corporations even though they haven't changed anything.
But don't get us wrong, local farmers are still, and probably will always be, in danger of being over run by larger corporations. Thankfully, government supplements help ease some burden and organized events such as Farm Aid bring attention to the issues. The need to support local farmers is emphasized at this event with celebrities, bands, and speakers. Issues such as farming without the heavy pesticides that larger corporations tend to use are also brought to attention.
"Family farmers are the bedrock of this country. They are always looking for new answers to problems and finding creative solutions that work," said Willie Nelson, president and founder of Farm Aid.