To The Daily Sun,
Do you love your local farmer, and the great food he or she produces for you and your family? The message below comes from a young Lakes Region farmer (maybe YOUR farmer), who is working hard both at farming and growing the local food system. He sent it to other farmers, but I think the message is pertinent to all of us! He graciously gave me permission to revise the letter for general distribution. My husband and I have already donated, and I hope these words might inspire some of you to do so as well.
"I apologize to you all preemptively for what may sound like a 'sales' pitch, but I assure you it's not. I am a small vegetable grower here in the Lakes Region of our state.
The Lakes Region Local Food Guide is set to go to print again this year, but lacks ample funding. This publication, supported last year by grant funding, was distributed throughout the Lakes Region at libraries, medical offices, schools, stores, fitness centers, restaurants, hotels/resorts, with acknowledgments made through local newspapers, on websites, and in tourism publications. 27 percent of farms listed in the guide saw an increase in sales directly tied to new customers who found them through the guide.
This year's guide is not funded by a grant and we can't always be relying on grants to support what we do. Grants can help get things started, but they can't sustain our efforts indefinitely! This year the guide has kept advertising to a minimum to provide an uncluttered, content driven publication for folks to navigate and easily and learn about our farms.
Still reading? We farmers all do our best to promote our own farms, and each others farms. However, with "information age" fatigue, dominant digital platforms, "big data" (whatever that is) and digital overload, it's no question why these well designed printed guides fly off of every public library foyer shelf I've left them at!
Still not convinced this isn't a sales pitch? If we do not support those who support us, we'll constantly be lamenting to each other and sitting behind computer screens trying to figure out how to let folks know about how to support local agriculture and, in turn, our food system. It's a support pitch!
The Local Food Guide still needs $3000 to go to print ... if 150 people each gave $25, that would enable a full printing run, ready for distribution at the beginning of the prime growing season. Invite a few of your friends to pitch in and make a group donation. Any size contribution is appreciated.
A "sales" pitch it is not, it's about support ... if folks don't come back to our farm stands, farmers' markets, and CSA programs, it's local agriculture and our food system that suffers, and so I ask now if we can all make a small effort to support each other by supporting this guide." Visit
http://form.jotform.us/form/50125134869152 to access the on-line donation form, or mail donations, payable to The University of New Hampshire, to Kelly McAdam, UNH Cooperative Extension, 635 Main Street, Laconia, NH 03246."