I was reminded by the National Farmers Union blog that 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming, designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. I post it here because I think it is a neat opportunity to say a couple of things.
First, the connection family farmers in the US have with family farmers around the world is complex and historic. Many of the farmers in Iowa today have (family) roots in Europe. In some ways, family farmers compete on a global market. Yet, because family farms tend to be smaller operations focusing on producing food for their communities, there really is – and can be moreso – a sense of support and cooperation and mutual thriving when family farms succeed.
Second, I joined the Iowa Farmers Union last fall as an indication of my support for a long-standing organization (since 1915 in Iowa!) that supports education, cooperation, and legislation that sincere support sustainable production, safe food, a clean environment and healthy communities. Whether or not you are a farmer, if you are interested in these issues I hope you will take a few moments to learn more about the Farmers Union.
Third, what better way to celebrate 2014 being the International Year of the Family Farm than by committing to support a local family farm? Of course we here at NFF would love for that to be us through our CSA.