12:26pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Business and the Economy

More Consumers Travel for "Locally-Grown" Produce

Three roadside markets in Madison County have been added to a list created by the Kentucky Farm Bureau.   The Farm Bureau program helps consumers find roadside stands that offer fresh produce and good customer service.  Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney runs such a retail outlet.

“My farm is right outside Somerset, in Pulaski County, a little community called Nancy, pretty much at the edge of Lake Cumberland. So we have lots of tourist traffic in our county and it allows me to be a 100% either you-pick or retail,” said Haney.

More Kentuckians are willing to travel further for fresher produce.  In response, Haney says more farmers now sell their crop at roadside farm markets…

“Many years, people came to our farm once a year, maybe twice and when they got there, they bought in pretty much quantity.  Now we see the customers come to our farm and come more regular, maybe once a week, or once every ten days, and they buy smaller amounts, and when it’s gone, they’ll come back,” said Haney.

The Farm Bureau list includes 103 roadside farm markets, mainly in central Kentucky and near metropolitan areas.  The three operations in Madison County are Acres of Land Winery, Berea College Farm and Baldwin Farm.

Summertime customers inspect produce offered by Berea College Farm.
Credit Berea College Farm.

“It’s not just a passerby that’s gonna’ stop and be your customer.  Many, many of these locations are destinations.  People will travel many miles, 25, 30, 40, 50 miles with the intention of coming to your market or your farm,” added Haney.