There are some points where I’m caught off guard by this question ringing in my ears. Why is it that agriculturalists – farmers, businesspeople, educators – can’t support other agriculturalists? Wouldn’t it make our entire industry stronger?
I’ve been placed in a couple of situations lately where, because production methods don’t mesh, I’ve been unable to promote what I feel is a beneficial part of agriculture. As long as one side isn’t attacking the other (I can understand dissatisfaction when there are attacks and marketing ploys), why is it wrong for high-production agriculture to support small-scale, local food marketers? It would seem that we all have our niches – commodity markets, contracts, farmers markets, CSA customers. Why not promote each other for the unique role we fill in this diverse industry we’re all a part of?
I know this post is probably pretty naiive, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Can differing production systems be supportive of one another? Should they?