Tennessee 15th In U.S. In Farms Selling Local Foods

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its results for the first nationwide Local Food Marketing Practices Survey Tuesday. The survey was designed to collect data related to the marketing of foods directly from farms and produce official benchmark data on the local food sector in the United States. 

In 2015, 4,148 Tennessee farms reported direct farm sales of food, including value-added products, bringing in a combined $58,720,441. Tennessee ranks 15th in the United States in the number of farms selling foods locally. 

“We know that many people care about what they eat and want to know where their food comes from,” Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “This survey shows what that farmer-to-consumer relationship is worth in Tennessee. I’m proud to see our state rank 15th in the nation for the number of farms that sell local foods. As more people learn about that impact and value, I believe new customers will seek out farm-fresh options and push Tennessee even higher up the list.” 

A further breakdown of data shows: 

Direct Farm Sales*
Total farms, excluding value-added products:  1,648
Total sales, excluding value-added products:  $29,143,351
Total farms, only value-added products:  2,954
Total sales, only value-added products:  $29,577,090 

Direct to Consumer Sales**
Total farms, including value-added products:  3,748
Total sales, including value-added products:  $41,413,614 

“The number of farms selling directly to consumers increased more than 500 in the three years since the Census of Agriculture data,” said Debra Kenerson, Tennessee state statistician. “This shows tremendous growth in a short period of time. With $58 million in total sales, it’s also a real opportunity for more farmers to capitalize on the buy local movement.” 

In the United States 167,009 farms reported selling $8.7 billion in edible food directly to consumers, retailers, institutions and local distributors.  

*Direct farm sales of food (crops and livestock raised on Tennessee farms) includes farms selling to:
·         Institutions and intermediary businesses (schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, wholesalers, processors, distributors)
·         Retailers (grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, food cooperatives)
·         Direct to consumers 

**Direct to consumer sales, a subset of direct farm sales, include:
·         Farmers markets, onsite farm stores, roadside stands, Community Supported Agriculture arrangements, online sales, pick-your-own operations, and mobile markets. 

Sales categories include both fresh food and value-added products (edible processed foods) such as bottled milk, cheese, meat, jam, cider, and wine. 

For a full breakdown of all the data, visit https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Local_Food/index.php. For more information, call Debra Kenerson at (615) 891-0903, or (800) 626-0987.
 


Where We Eat Exhibit Features Works By Jane Newman Displayed At Local Restaurants

"Where We Eat," a series of paintings by local artist Jane Newman capturing familiar moments at some favorite local eateries, will be on exhibit June 19-July 28. It will be at Reflections Gallery, 6922 Lee Highway. Gallery hours are  10 a.m.-6 p.m . There will be an artist’s reception celebrating this exhibition on  Thursday, July 13,  from  ... (click for more)

Heaven & Ale Opening 3rd Location On The Southside; Hutton & Smith Plans 2nd Site On Riverside Drive

Heaven & Ale, which has locations on the Northshore as well as in Ooltewah, will be opening a third location on the Southside at 615 E. Main St. in the fall. The old Atlas Bolt and Supply store is currently being renovated for the business. The bar received a special events permit for June 3, 10 and 17, for an introduction opening for the new location. The event, Heaven & ... (click for more)

Public Markets To Manage And Operate Finley Stadium

The Stadium Corporation has selected Public Markets, Inc. as the primary management group for Finley Stadium/Davenport Field and the First Tennessee Pavilion. Public Markets, which stepped in as interim managers in April, will take on broader responsibilities and oversight moving forward. “We evaluated several strong candidates and management options, but ultimately felt ... (click for more)

UTC Tuition Increase Approved; 1.8 Percent Increase Is Lowest In More Than 30 Years

UTC students this fall will see the lowest tuition increase in more than 30 years. An increase of 1.8 percent marks the third consecutive year of record low tuition increases approved by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees for the system’s campuses. For 2017-18, an in-state, full-time UTC undergraduate student will pay combined tuition and fees of $4,332 per semester, ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Leaders Stand ‘Way Back’

Franklin McCallie, a former principal at Howard School and the maverick in one of Chattanooga’s finest families known for education, delivered an impassioned speech before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday. Sadly, his remarks came after the commissioners had passed the FY2018 budget that has no financial methodology for the Department of Education, much maligned in the ... (click for more)