Promoting Local Farm Viability
Towns can play an important role in increasing the visibility and improving the viability of local farms. Towns are establishing festivals to showcase local farm products, providing space for farmers' markets, working with schools to bring local foods into their cafeterias and developing local farm product guides. Such steps illustrate support for local farms, educate community members and support the economic viability of farms. Municipalities can also do more through agricultural economic development.
Although towns may appreciate the economic activity of local agriculture, farmers generally have been on their own to seek state or federal assistance for diversification, marketing, business planning and infrastructure needs. Yet, like other small businesses, farm businesses need local officials to understand their business needs, to help seek opportunities for product and market development, and to be advocates on their behalf with state and federal officials.