Fox 21: Congressman Nolan Stops By Local Farm
WILLOW RIVER - Congressman Rick Nolan stopped by the La Finca organic farm in Willow River to discuss farmers' needs in northern Minnesota.
A few things the farmers are advocating for are cost sharing programs, better financing for newer farmers, better insurance premiums and help transitioning to organic farming and the congressman has a big passion to help local farmers succeed.
Congressman Nolan said, "Use the resources that are available for promoting food and agriculture and redirect more of them to the small scale farmer, to the organic farmer, to the direct marketing for a wide variety of reasons."
Nolan says doing this will create more jobs, a healthier food supply, and more opportunities.
Farmers say it's a big challenge just to stay afloat because they aren't getting the support they need.
Organic farmer, Charlie Kersey says, "It's a system that's not set up to promote or support farms like ours. You know, organic farms don't generally receive crop subsidies."
Kersey believes it's hard because people think organic produce is more expensive but he says customers are paying what it actually costs to produce the veggies.
Large markets can deflate prices, because they buy from the corporate farms but this practice is harmful to local farmers.
Nolan is trying to get more food suppliers to buy from the local farmers to sustain them.
The Kersey's also run the La Finca market in Sandstone and sell gluten free baked goods so they are doing well.
Not every farmer can say the same thing so hopefully Thursday's meeting is a good start to get them some help.