Meter encourages sustainable agriculture practices
Kenneth A. Meter, Crossroads Resource Center president, based in Minneapolis, addressed over 75 people gathered in the Monte Vista Coop meeting room, on June 20.
Through a USDA grant written by Adams State University, Meter conducted a local farm and food economy study for the six counties of the San Luis Valley. His presentation, Finding Food in the San Luis Valley, took a look at current trends in agriculture in the valley.
He listed an explained his four steps to building a strong economical and healthy "local" food system, including health, wealth, connection and capacity. "If local farmers and ranchers do not make money, the system is not sustainable."
He expressed concern over the growing number of people who no longer realize where their food comes from, including youth raised on farms.
"One hundred years ago, farmers and ranchers took the pig to pork." Now with the advent of fast and convenient food, even youth raised on farms do not know how to recognize or cook vegetables."
He explained his philosophy for "local" food. "Local" is shorthand, not a goal or measure of success.
Through charts and graphs, Meter demonstrated the decline in farming and ranching profits, how so much needed to operate an agricultural business is bought "out of the valley." He urged the audience to work towards a different reality. "The local food approach is the best path toward economic recovery in US."
Towards that end, he spoke of farms and ranches across the nation that are experiencing success through smaller, diverse operations, and connecting with community and local businesses (such as markets and restaurants).
For more information about Meter, visit the Crossroads Resource Center.