April 8, 2015
Just how much do your state's residents support local food? Strolling of the Heifers offers this look in its annual Locavore Index.
As in the past, smaller, diverse farms of New England pushed their home states to the top of the list compiled by the Vermont-based local food advocacy group.
The good news: It appears local is growing and likely larger than represented in this report. The data used doesn't include a complete representation of farm sales to retail, something Strolling the Heifers hopes the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agriculture departments will better track in the future.
"What the Index really reflects is the fact that the various policies at the national and state levels that encourage local food programs are having measurable results," Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers, said in a statement. "At the federal level, there's the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program which helps promote farmers markets and provides grants for farm-to-school and farm-to-institution programs. Many states also have active programs to encourage local food consumption, and Vermont's Farm-to-Plate network is a national leader in this respect. All these programs are good for farmers, good for consumers and they help to build stronger communities."
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