Value of farming

Growing up on a commodity crop farm in Central Kentucky, it seems I have always had Kentucky soil under my fingernails and in my veins.  I have grown up knowing that the seeds of spring pay the bills of fall and all the hardships and joys that come in between.   We small farmers choose to farm for the friendships, community, and an honest way of life.  I left the family farm for higher education and spent 11 years of my life working for the horticulture department at the University of Kentucky.  In those 11 years, I helped many small family farms fight to offset the income loss of tobacco with vegetable production.  Some failed and some succeeded, but in helping these families across Kentucky, I have come to realize that farmers have a greater picture of life than just the bottom line of a business plan. They want to feel value in what they are doing and worthy of their spot in the world.  Whether organic, conventional, or somewhere in between, all small farmers are seeing the same struggles of living out a dream of a sustainable way of life.  This is where my passion for farmers markets and other local food production has grown.  It’s a great way to connect consumers to producers of all kinds and neighbors are helping neighbors in what is a true profit margin.