PORTLAND, Ore. — Farmer Julia Niiro says ninety percent of small farms across the country are in danger of going extinct because they can't make a living growing food.
She says 85 percent of farmers in the U.S. today are over 65 and the industry is attracting fewer young people because it's hard to make money.
Here's why. Niiro says only ten percent of every dollar you spend on food goes to the farmer. The rest goes to things like transportation, distribution and packaging.
So, what does that mean for you? Niiro says worst case-- no more local food. Big corporations would take over. Bye bye farmers' markets and CSA's--community supported agriculture.
Niiro says she's working to make sure that never happens.
She owns a company called Milk Run and is connecting local farmers, butchers, bakers and makers with people who want to buy their food. She's using technology and an online marketplace to bring everyone together. Think Amazon but instead of grocery stores making deliveries, farmers bring their food straight to your doorstep.
Milk Run is flipping the script. It's local producers earn 70 to 80 cents on the dollar instead of just 10. Buying food this way may save you more than a trip to the store, it may also help save a farmer's way of life.
TEDx Portland thought Niiro's idea was worth sharing and she won a spot on the TED stage last month at Keller Auditorium.
Interested in learning more? Check out localmilkrun.com!