Spotlighting Small Farmers

Because of their location, rural small farmers often face challenges that other businesses do not face. Supporting rural small farmers is key to helping the economy grow in rural areas. Furthermore, farmers markets are popular networks to aid in economic growth. These markets allow locals the opportunity to introduce their unique products without expensive overhead while connecting with others in their community. The Office of Advocacy assists rural small farmers with their federal regulatory issues through site visits and discussing the concerns with the small farmer owners. In recognition of rural small farmers, please see information below.

  • In 2018, rural counties in the West led the nation in rural growth, with the number of establishments in those counties increasing by 2.4 percent.
  • In 1999, the internet accounted for less than one percent of sales. By 2018, that share had risen to 10 percent, or about $500 billion per year. Internet access may be particularly important for rural communities. Businesses that sell online are less vulnerable to local economic conditions, and some evidence suggests that growth in online retailers has been more evenly distributed geographically than growth in other types of businesses.

Advocacy outreach and resources:

On May 15, Region 1 Advocate Louis Luchini visited Singing Pastures farm in Newcastle, Maine, whose pork is certified pasture-raised by the American Grassfed Association, free from antibiotics and hormones, and only uses non-GMO ingredients. Owners Holly and John Arbuckle discussed regenerative agriculture, the process of rotating pigs on pasture, and the benefits of value-added products.

Singing Pastures farm owners Holly and John Arbuckle discussing the processes of regenerative farming and rotating pigs on pasture.

On May 17, Region 1 Advocate Louis Luchini visited Brodis Blueberries in Hope, Maine. The Brodis family has farmed wild Maine blueberries for over 150 years. The farm sells delicious Maine blueberries, pies, jams, jellies, and other products.

(From left to right) Maine SBA District Director Diane Sturgeon, Gwen Brodis, Sonja Brodis Howard, Ron Howard, Region 1 Advocate Louis Luchini, Maine SBA Deputy Director Tim Hobbs.

In January, Region 10 Advocate Jennifer Clark visited Desert Hot Springs, CA and met Sam Cobb, the owner of Sam Cobb Farms. Cobb, along with his wife, children, and grandchildren, work together at their family-owned local date farming business.

Sam Cobb Farms owner, Sam Cobb

Comments are closed.