USDA Report Compares Marketing by Beginning and Experienced Local Food Producers

A new report by USDA Economic Research Service explored how local food farmers (less than 9% of all farms) of varying levels of experience responded to the increasing demand for local food. A survey was used to compare how experience in direct marketing and experience in farming affect producer choices. The report focuses on production and marketing practices. Specifically, the survey revealed that more experienced farmers were less likely to have Internet access, that participation by local food producers in USDA programs is low, and that producers with more direct marketing experience were more likely to have positive net farm sales.