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Become Part of Local Food Production in Texas

Worldwide, people are starting to recognize that we have to return to the old ways regarding feeding the people. Become part of local food production in Texas because it is a critical component for improving health and making communities more sustainable. Texans nowadays are looking for fresh fruit with a known origin, which has led to the proliferation of farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture, and farm-to-table restaurants. The increasing scale of the farm-to-table food movement is seen in the increase in locations of farmers’ markets.  They have increased from 2000 in 1994 to 8600 in 2017 and are still growing.

Therefore, we can identify an ever-increasing market for locally produced fruit and locally processed food, which leaves a market gap. We need young vibrant people that want to fill that gap to have fresh, nutritious food for their families and communities. This move will ascertain food stability in Texas while producers are earning a decent income doing what they want to do.


We at TexasRealFood, are calling on all Texans to become part of the local food movement in Texas. Food producers and an overall support structure are needed to ensure food stability and resilience in every community. Accomplishing that will involve all interested parties’ participation, although it might be on different levels. Of course, being a producer is the ultimate goal, but supplying them with means, markets, infrastructure, advice, and support is equally important.


We will look at some advantages and support structures that producers can utilize to ensure success in their farming careers.


Lucrative Financial Advantages in Local Food Production in Texas


Producing and marketing food-to-table can have significant financial positive outcomes for gardeners, urban farmers, vertical farmers, and existing commercial farmers. For example, if commercial farmers market most of their produce locally, they will cut overheads like transport and get a much better price for their locally sold produce while sharing a healthy product. 


In a Texas Agri Live Research and Extension study, a family or individuals producing organic food on a 3-acre plot can realize a profit of $45 000 per year. The publication also contains valuable insights into achieving these profit margins to enhance your production efforts.


The advantage of food-to-table marketing and different direct marketing options are discussed in detail by this extension catalog. It clearly shows much higher profit margins through local marketing. The local marketing of part of your produce/animals will lead to more sustainability in your farming operation and benefit Texas. Your market’s growth is in your hands and can be exploited for maximum profit through direct contact with consumers.


Farmers, urban farmers, and gardeners should embrace their entrepreneurial side to further the marketing and thus the financial benefit to achieve even higher profits. In addition, building relationships of trust with clients will increase the profitability of your marketing drive. 


Feeding People of Texas Healthy Food Through Local Food Production


Feeding your family and the broader community with good, nutritious, and valuable food will nourish their health. The induced healthier living will combat disease, reduce medical expenses and supply every member with vitality to exceed in everything they do. We all want this for our families and communities, and we will obtain it by being part of the local food-to-table chain in Texas.


However, in reaching this goal, it is necessary to source all the other food from other local sources that you can identify through TexasRealFood. And through TexasRealFood, clients under the umbrella of the regional, sustainable umbrella will discover how to source your healthy, valuable product. Just start producing and sign up with us as a producer. Currently, there is a reward for people that sign up.


Another fact is that whatever an animal eats correlates to the quality of the meat. Unfortunately, conventional animal rearing for food does not always include animal welfare, and often animal food contains harmful substances. Changing marketing to a transparent food-to-table system will require you to consider the animals you raise, what you feed them, and how you grow them. Labeling your product raised according to specific standards can be done through GAP (Global Animal Partnership). This certification will label your well-fed meat product so that consumers know what they’re buying. These satisfied end-users will become enthusiastic, loyal clients that will contribute to your profitability in the future. 


Signing up with TexasRealFood will advertise your product while it is also an umbrella to a more extensive community for sourcing food. Living a food-to-table lifestyle under this umbrella can be an immensely productive and valuable experience while building links with producers and consumers in the process.


Improving Food Sustainability in Communities and Texas


All interested Texans must contribute to local food production in Texas. This will streamline sustainable and resilient food-to-table food production in Texas as a whole. Producing healthy and safe food for your family and the community will lead to a massive move towards sustainability. Imagine everyone doing it. The more people involved, the more sustainable our food production in Texas can become, and you will be part of a bright future.


To ensure that bright future, we need to step up local food production in Texas.  We are living in uncertain times, and food production should be a priority to ensure food stability.


Another benefit of a food-to-table production system is that waste management is simplified. For example, food waste that we cannot redistribute to the needy can be used in composting. This will enable producers at all levels to supply nutrient-rich compost to produce healthy food during the following season.


As a proud Texas resident, we call on you to do your tiny part as a food producer in Texas’s conglomerate drive towards more sustainable food production. 


Getting Rid of Food Deserts in Texas


Commercialized big industry outlets have also led to the development of food deserts in 58 of 158 Texas counties CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention). With a generally low income in these sparsely populated counties, no big general stores and no fresh food is available. Become part of local food production in Texas in and around these areas to supply these areas with fresh nutritious food.


The need in these areas creates a market, and supplying food will ensure a healthy life for these people while creating a sustainable and worthwhile operation. These areas desperately need producers, and we call on people in and around these areas to start producing and selling locally to alleviate the need and feed Texas. 


Educating A New Generation of Texan Farmers 


As far back as 2012, the then Commissioner of agriculture, Todd Staples, stated that attracting young farmers is vital to ensure sustainability in food production and agriculture. In our current situation worldwide, with all the uncertainties in our world today, it would be best to indulge in a career in agriculture, ensuring food for every Texan produced in Texas.


The importance of stimulating the youth’s interest in farming is of utmost importance, with Texas farmers’ average age increasing every year. In the 2017 census, the average age of Texas farmers was 59 years. This average increases with every census. Another alarming figure is that just 36% of these farmers listed farming as their primary occupation.


These figures imply that our farmers in Texas are getting older, and the youth are not interested in indulging in farming and taking over from the aging farmers. The fact is that we need new thinking on farms to increase sustainability backed up by the resilience gained through years of experience by older farmers. The idea is that young farmers take over and start farming with the guidance of fathers. We understand and have sympathy with the challenge young farmers are facing farming with their Dads. But we need to face reality, and with the drive and vitality of young producers, strengthened by the valuable insight and experience of the older generation, production can flourish.


Moving the marketing aspect of farms to a more local scenario can be a challenge, but producers cannot ignore the benefits. On the other hand, young farmers can diversify the farm for local production ensuring high profits. Of course, marketing locally includes more work, but the additional effort is worthwhile.


State & USDA, Financial Assistance To Boost Local Production 


Government at all levels, as well as private initiatives, support and want more local production. Therefore, interested potential producers and current small-scale producers should exploit possible financial assistance and existing training institutions to further their production incentives.


Money and grants for farming and becoming part of an ever-growing number of local producers are available in the local and federal government’s drive to increase local food production. The Texas Department of Agriculture promotes numerous grants available to farmers/ranchers, nonprofits, and private entities across the lone star state. In addition, financial assistance is available, especially for young farmers/ranchers to expand their production capabilities.


The USDA. supports local food systems, and in recent years funding to support local food systems has increased. For example, during 2015, $40 million was available as grants for local food systems, and $50 million was available as loans for local and regional food enterprises.


If you have a suitable business plan ready for production or adding value to the food, you may get a grant or a loan from the USDA. Adding value to food reduces waste and is beneficial as a sustainable practice.


Even more government aid is available on the website of TexasAgrAbility, especially for producers with disabilities. As part of Texas A&M, they also offer practical courses, workshops, and more. Feel free to visit their website.


On the other hand, government incentives like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Double Up Food Bucks empower people in need to buy fresh produce at farmers’ markets and participating local producers. This incentive not only creates an opportunity for people in need to buy fresh food, but the market for all producers expands as well. 


So if money is the obstacle, there are ways to overcome it and start being part of sustainable, regenerative food production in Texas.


Training, Education, and Workshops to Enhance Local Food Production in Texas


The amount of assistance with regenerative production and value-adding businesses is tremendous and needs to be utilized by prospective and current producers. TexasRealFood has an extensive library on education and services rendered like consultants regarding various disciplines in food production.


The USDA, the Texas local government, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and various local organizations give training, education, and workshops. One private organization worth mentioning is Hope Farms that specializes in helping local and micro-urban farmers. The resources regarding training in urban farming are astounding and must be utilized to increase food sustainability in Texas.


The drive for local farm-to-plate production is astounding, and together with that, all institutions are willing and capable to provide training and courses to potential small-scale farmers. Starting a career as a small-scale farmer has never been this easy and should be supported by young people with a passion for life in Texas.


Become part of local food production in Texas and produce nutritional food that creates essential health benefits and reduces a negative environmental impact. It also builds community involvement and participation and allows people to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.


We are living in challenging times that will become even more difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that Texans can support Texas with locally produced nutritious and fresh food. To accomplish this, we need every inch of space available to be utilized in food production. Training and education are available, and by using government grants and loans, new producers can become the farmers of tomorrow, without which Texas can’t survive. We as Texans must start thinking about where the next meal will come from if we don’t produce food to supply that meal.