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Can We Save Small Farms?

Can We Save Small Farms?
An Essay On Farming After COVID


You know what I see?
Too many people who seem to have forgotten about the last year-and-a-half.
Who did people run to when the pandemic hit, when they didn’t feel safe even going to grocery stores, when meat processing plants shut down and everyone feared starvation?
Their local farmer.
2020 was a year that defied simple adjectives, but for us—and most farmers we know—it was one that humbled us.
When the pandemic hit, farmers became pillars of security in our communities. We gladly worked overtime, filling orders and partnering with neighboring farms to feed the people who depended on us, knowing that we provided a much-needed sense of comfort amidst the chaos.
Like other businesses, COVID upheaved our ways of operating as we did our best to keep ourselves, our employees, and our customers safe—all the while grappling with shifting market conditions and, for meat farmers, slaughterhouses that were booked well into the following year.
Product flew off our shelves as quickly as it was restocked and farmers everywhere thought that—although these were exceptional times and would certainly level out—maybe, just maybe, everyone finally realized their need for their local farmers.
Until they didn’t.
Now everywhere I turn I see another farm struggling to make ends meet, selling off parts of their operation, or closing down.
What happened? Our lives went back to “normal”.
I’ve sat on this post for a while, not wanting to appear angry, ungrateful, or unappreciative of our amazing customers—because I’m not. I’m endlessly thankful for our supporters, that we’ve made it through the pandemic this far, and that our lights are still on. To say we’re fortunate is an understatement.
But we’re still hurting some. Many, many farms are hurting this year.
If we care about preserving small farms, as a nation, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are (again).
If we don’t, when the next crisis comes, when our supply chain is hit again, when panic ensues once more over starvation, the local farmer won’t be there.

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Donna Boris

I appreciate all that you do. Any butcher meat that I eat is purchased from you or a similar farmer Up North. You are both great. Thank you!

Susan Burkowsky

Thank you for so eloquently stating how we also are feeling.
Your friends at Why Not Farm, Bethlehem CT

jack killeen

Thank you for all you do to provide quality food for us, your customers. You are the antidote to the Big AG approach to food.


I don’t know what I’d do without my local farms and small businesses! Veggies, meat, eggs, milk, honey, maple syrup and even soaps and lotions I buy local.. I don’t get how people don’t see how important it is to support small farms…especially in 2020! If anything my level of purchasing local has gone up because I recognize now more than ever that we need to support our local communities FIRST. When I feel helpless and overwhelmed by everything that is happening around the country, it feels great to know I can make a difference where I live and enjoy the best quality food and products as a bonus! Thank you to all the hard working small farms and businesses out there! I appreciate you and will always support you…pandemic or no pandemic :)

Mary Batchik

Well written, as always, and insightful. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable so we can understand true impact.


It’s good that you wrote this post for those of us who weren’t aware of the struggle. I hate knowing some farms are shutting down. I will certainly continue to buy all my meat from small, organic farms. I buy from 3 local farms and one in a nearby state because they raise soy-free chicken and pork. Keep up the good work and I’ll tell everyone who will listen how good your products are.

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