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Finding Food in Farm Country. Ken Meter. Crossroads Resource Center (Minneapolis). “From the Ground Up” Springfield, Minnesota April 8, 2004. Crossroads’ approach:. Better answers when local residents engaged Professionals serve resident needs. Crossroads’ approach:.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Finding Food in

Farm Country

Ken Meter

Crossroads Resource Center (Minneapolis)

“From the Ground Up”

Springfield, Minnesota

April 8, 2004

slide2

Crossroads’ approach:

  • Better answers when local residents engaged
  • Professionals serve resident needs
slide3

Crossroads’ approach:

  • Start by measuring local assets
  • THEN ask what is missing
  • Build local capacities & assets
slide4

Crossroads’ approach:

  • Having good numbers matters
  • Negotiate with strength using solid data
slide5

Usually, farm analysts measure:

  • Specific crops or commodity programs
  • Specific types of farm operations

What do we learn if we take the view of the whole community?

slide6

“Finding Food in Farm Country”

Southeast Minnesota

Partners: Community Design Center & University of Minnesota

slide8

Southeast Minnesota’s Food & Farm Economy

  • 303,000 residents
  • $10 billion purchasing power each year
  • 8,436 farm families
  • 1.4 million farm animals
slide9

Southeast Minnesota’s Food & Farm Economy

  • Stable farm community
  • Lasting social bonds
  • Leaders in conservation tillage
  • Many small farms
  • One of most diverse farm economies in U.S.
slide10

Southeast Minnesota’s Food & Farm Economy

However…

Houston, MN spent 2 years with no grocery store

Fragile, small food businesses are springing up all over

How to explain this?

slide11

Southeast Minnesota’s Food & Farm Economy

  • Region’s farmers produce $866 million of food per year (1997)
  • Spend $947 million to raise it
  • Lose $80 million in production costs

Yet…

slide12

Southeast Minnesota’s Food & Farm Economy

So…

  • Farm families require $129 million of other farm-related income to cover their costs
  • This includes $42 million in federal supports
slide16

Finding Food in Farm Country

Moreover, as farmers struggle...

  • The region’s consumers spend $500 million buying food each year
  • Most bought from outside region
slide17

Finding Food in Farm Country

In fact…

  • The average food item in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles from farmer to consumer
  • Over 60% of the cost of food is an energy cost
slide18

Finding Food in Farm Country

All told, Southeast Minnesota...

  • Loses $400 million raising food, &
  • Loses $400 million buying food
  • Potential wealth lost each year
slide19

Finding Food in Farm Country

Total loss is:

  • $800 millioneach year!
  • Totals 92% of the value of all food raised in the region
slide20

Finding Food in Farm Country

If local consumers bought only 15% of their food locally:

$45 millionof new farm income earned each year

slide21

Finding Food in Farm Country

Impact of the study...

Southeast Minnesota Farm Network

50 farms & processors work together

Goal: $250,000 sales in 2004

slide27

Cumulative loss1992-2000

for all farms is $171 million

slide36

Food sales are concentrated

  • 40% of groceries sold by 5 chains
  • Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club are top 2
  • 85% of food industries lack competitiveness
slide37

Consumption out of balance

  • 50% of U.S. public school students qualify for free / reduced lunch
  • 10% of households are “food insecure”
slide38

Consumption out of balance

  • Over half of all adults overweight
  • Half of elderly seeking medical care are undernourished
slide39

Supply & Demand out of balance

  • Farm prices low due to high production & foreign competition
  • Researchers focus on producing even more!
slide40

Health suffers

  • Diet-related diseases cause half of all deaths in industrial world
  • Change in diet could prevent 30% of cancer worldwide
  • 5,000 deaths due to food poisoning each year in U.S.
  • 30,000 coronary cases in US could be prevented by eating 1% less fat
slide41

Health suffers

  • 76 million gastrointestinal illnesses treated each year in US (total population 281 million)
  • Medical costs of obesity amount to $118 billion per year—25% of what all US consumers pay for food each year
slide42

Key shifts

  • From consumers to co-investors
  • Farming that builds wealth in communities
  • Shared risk among clustered firms
  • Farm policy supports rural communities instead of commodities
  • Reduced energy use
slide43

Community-Based Food Systems:

Map courtesy of www.FoodRoutes.org

slide44

Solid data matters!

…Could Southwest Minnesota use a

“Finding Food in Farm Country” study?

slide45

“Finding Food in Farm Country”

http://www.crcworks.org/ff.pdf

kmeter@crcworks.org (612) 869-8664

slide46

Food with the Farmers' Face on It

Media guide covering

community-based foods systems

W. K. Kellogg Foundation

http://www.wkkfweb.org/FSRDFullGuide.pdf

slide48

Food service & lodging income rises as

farming & manufacturing income falls

slide52

AERO

Southeast Minnesota Food Network

Food Alliance

Red Tomato

Six Iroquois Nations

Buffalo Commons

CISA

Sunflower Fields Farm

NYC

Food Trust

California Alliance with Family Farms

Food Circles

Oglala Aquifer

Community Food Alliance

ASAP

Federation of Southern Coops

Tohono O’odham