While there are many waves of new trends or ideas coming our way with unknown intentions, direct farming is a tide many can welcome with open arms.
As reported by the United States Department of Agriculture, not only is Wisconsin ranked within the top five in sales of direct farming, but the entire country has seen an increase in 2.3 percent of farmers participating in direct farming.
This form of sale consists of farmers setting up at farmers’ markets, road side stands, you-pick farms or on-farm stores in which the middle man of a distribution system is eliminated. Stevens Point joined in on this trend long before most.
Mathias Mitchell Public Square, located in downtown Stevens Point, is home to the longest running farmers market dating back to 1847, according to the Stevens Point Farmers Market. Stevens Point is found in the Central Agricultural Statistics District which is said to be where the highest-valued farmland is located.
When asked how they chose to participate in direct farm, many Stevens Point farmers responded that the local farmers market or other small stands were their go-to option. Although one can find you-pick fields filled with blueberries or apples in the area, an appointment is often needed for the sales to occur.
The direct method of selling at a farmer’s market is well-liked for several reasons such as immediate feedback of the products as well as an open connection between seller and consumer. These connections would not occur if one were to buy from a commercial store, so this method allows the community to have a strengthened relationship.
Direct farming can be crucial in the business of farming and the importance of community members cannot be stressed enough. When goods are purchased through a commercial setting, a fraction of the dollar goes to the seller while another fraction goes to the distributor. Whereas with direct farming, the whole dollar goes to the seller helping to benefit further production of said goods. While the seller may gain in both scenarios, there is a higher profit for the local farmers if consumers are able to buy all products directly.
The Stevens Point Farmers Market is located on the corner of Second and Main St, in the downtown Stevens Point area. At the market, one can find fruits, vegetables, flowers, syrup, herbs, eggs, meat, root crops and many other locally grown goods. More information regarding the market can be found on the Stevens Point Farmers Market web page.