The Local Foods program has a major focus on connecting producers and end users along the food value chain to grow the local economy and enhance the availability and variety of locally produced food. Activities include value added products like maple candy, local farmers market and farm stand growth and stability, producer trainings on marketing and branding along with traditional subject matter trainings from meats to vegetables. The goal is to increase profitability for farmers and product availability and variety to consumers. We help to make connection and develop markets for the local agricultural community.
Why Buy Local? Beyond the benefits of direct sales for farmers, farmers’ markets can benefit local economies. One of these benefits is that more food dollars are spent and retained in the local area, versus on food imported from other regions of the country or internationally. As more money stays in the local economy, more money is spent by and at other local businesses. Known as the multiplier effect, for every dollar of income earned by a farmer at a farmers’ market, other local businesses generate $.48 of income.
Also… consumers may be enticed to shop at other businesses in the vicinity of the farmers’ market. These indirect sales have been estimated to be $.58 for every dollar spent at a farmers market. In the same study, a job multiplier of 1.45 was found, in other words, for every job at a farmers’ market, nearly half of another job was supported somewhere else in the local economy.
Farmers Markets have many benefits, among them increasing fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, directly connecting consumers with farmers, and economic benefits for participating farmers and communities where farmer’s markets are located. Increased interest by consumers in local foods has led to the continuing expansion of the number of farmers’ markets nationwide.
Why Everyone Should Shop at a Farmers Market
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Grow Local Buy Local initiative is working to increase farmers’ revenues by increasing direct marketing opportunities for local food in Jefferson and Lewis Counties and increase access to healthy foods for consumers.
We provide technical assistance and training for producers, distributors, and institutions with a goal of increasing market opportunities, and therefore increasing revenue and creating jobs. Assistance is available in a variety of formats, including one-on-one settings, group settings, in person venues, and utilizing technology such as webinars, polycom, and social media.
Last updated October 5, 2023