Farmers face economic turmoil following the pandemic


ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – The pandemic, rising gas prices and supply chain demand have all affected many local suppliers. National Famous Market week is an opportunity to show the value that vendors bring to our hometowns.

Four years ago, a resident of Roanoke City left the cinema to become a farmer. Cam Terry made a film that changed his mind about the food system, putting his camera down for a shovel.

“I started growing food in my garden just for myself and for my friends and family,” Terry said. “And after 5 or 6 years of work, I realize how rewarding it was to grow food and share it with people you love, and I think that could be a way to earn a living. “

Terry prepares vegetables for the weekly farmers market in the village of Grandin

“We grow 40 different varieties of vegetables throughout the year,” Terry added.

During the pandemic, many have turned to farming as a hobby. Terry says supply chains have not been able to keep up with the demand for seeds. Prices have gone up and haven’t come down since.

“Commercial growers need to choose different varieties at the moment until some of that demand eases in the market,” Terry explained.

The farmers’ market in the village of Grandin is the origin of the creation of LEAP. LEAP Marketing Director Christina Nifong said rising gas and feed prices, inflation and the pandemic have taken their toll on farmers.

“I think most sellers here are doing everything they can to not pass that cost on to customers or to do it in the smoothest way possible,” Nifong said.

LEAP has several farmers’ markets encouraging sustainability and access to local food. They try to be a solution to these same problems.

“Families who are on snap, WIC and Medicaid can show up at a farmer’s market every jump market and many other 100 other outlets across the state,” Nifong added. “And the money they use from their smart card is doubled. So we help people stretch their budget on healthy foods. »

The farmers’ market in the village of Grandin is weekly on Saturdays until mid-November.

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