Nationwide, farmers have experienced a rising demand for locally grown foods. Consumers are beginning to realize what farmers have long known: eating farm-fresh food, carefully grown by members of their own communities, spreads tangible benefits for public health and local economies. Small farmers are more likely to employ low-impact and conservation-oriented agricultural practices than large industrial farms. At the same time, small farmers face a host of economic challenges, including access to markets, loans, and start-up capital.
This fact sheet provides a summary of how the Dow Fellows student team explored USDA farm census data to identify unique areas in Washtenaw County, and locations that fit the national and statewide trends.