The Time has Come to Pay Farmers Properly

Caring for crops requires consistent physical and mental energy. Farmer pay does not reflect the demands and importance of the job.
by on Thursday, September 5, 2019

Being a Farmer is Hard Work! Does farmer pay reflect this? 

farmer producers market

Farmers use consistent physical and mental energy in caring for their crops. Furthermore, to be a farmer is to surrender to forces that one cannot control. A farmer can do her best to prepare for success. Even still, storms, infestations, crazy neighbors, volatile market conditions and other obstacles beyond control can greatly impact costs and profitability.

In addition, once crops are harvested and sold, buyers will often delay or discount payments, which makes it difficult for farmers to plant their crops for the next season.

The people who grow our food ought to be paid properly—and not just the landowners, all people who work the land.

It’s about time that the prices we pay farmers reflect the value that they bring to society. Just because it’s a profession that “anyone can do” and doesn’t necessarily require a degree from a prestigious university, that doesn’t mean it should be disrespected or uncompensated.

Farmers grow the food we eat.

This should be something we remember at every meal of our lives. Their efforts eventually become our organs, our brains, our cells—our life force. Our children put these products into their bodies. To systematically disrespect and disregard the people who grow our food is to disrespect ourselves.

Society should celebrate the people who dedicate their lives to creating abundance for the rest of us. This celebration doesn’t just come in the form of saying grace at a meal, or making a Facebook post. It comes in the form of paying them really well for their efforts and the products created. This is an excellent step for human evolution.

For thousands of years, our societies around the world have historically mistreated our farmers. This is a mirror. It reflects the deep-rooted sickness of our cultures, and the inability of humanity to properly value and respect themselves.

Producers Market Role in Farmer Pay

Our purpose at Producers Market is to create a new structure that properly compensates farmers. We believe that when society takes care of farmers (especially organic farmers), more people will choose to go into the farming profession. This will lead to more abundance of organic food for everyone.

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  1. Exactly! Undervalued and Underappreciated even though we work hard to get food on people’s tables. How can we build appreciation for farmers in a society where they have been overlooked for so long? How can farmers build themselves and be better advocates for themselves and lift each other up as well as succeed at their business of growing food? As a small scale Organic Farm business owner and solo farmer, even though I love growing food for others time and time again people want lower prices even when my prices are less expensive than big box stores and organizations are asking me to donate my produce even when me myself am on food stamps. These food banks do not value farmers either or else they would recognize if farmers dont get paid they themselves wont have food for the people they want to serve. There is even an organization in the area that takes advantage of farmers at the end of Farmer’s markets (b/c there are currently just one other outlet after market which farmers can take their produce to and pays $1 /lb) and ask for donations from farmers not offering them payment for their products and the organization is a food shelf called “Food Justice”. How can we have Food Justice if the farmer isn’t being paid? They are even so removed from how food starts with a farmer. How do we as Farmers educate others about our worth and the value of what we do? Thank you for this article!

    1. Hi Kristin! Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. We certainly know how hard it is to be a farmer in the US and all over the world and how many people take food for granted without considering where or who it comes from. We appreciate you, your family, and the work you do. And it’s exactly because of these challenges you mentioned (among others) that we are working towards changing food systems. Our work is always first and foremost, pro-producer, so let us know how we can support you! Thanks again for sharing your perspective.

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