Cornucopia’s Take: Organic farms bring jobs, as well as healthy food, to their communities. A recent report by Penn State Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke details the benefits organics bring to local economies.
Research shows organic “hotspots” create real opportunities in rural areas
Six farmers’ markets in six rural communities where there were none. Twenty-two year-round employees where there were just five or so seasonal workers. Saturday get-togethers drawing local families with plate lunches featuring garden-fresh treats, live music and fun hands-in-the-dirt experiences for the kids on a farm dedicated to the health of its soil and of its neighbors. A successful and community-engaged organic farm growing produce, grains and pecans and raising grassfed livestock where a conventional commodity farm with tenant farmers had existed for decades.
Big changes most often start in small ways, and in Rapides Parish in Central Louisiana, one single organic farm is transforming the lives of thousands in the local population. Inglewood Farm, in just five years, has become the largest certified organic farm in Louisiana. It has helped create a new awareness and interest in healthy diets, it has spurred the attention of consumers and local farmers alike to organic, and it has helped foster new jobs and entrepreneur opportunities for many.