“If there’s magic, Robert, that’s it.”
Those are the words of Helen Kees, born and raised on the same family farm she works on today, describing the “mystical” nature of soil life to her grandson, Robert.
Kees got a degree in biology years ago. But it wasn’t until she got involved in a battle involving the aerial spraying of potatoes—13 different chemicals 12 times a year—that she got a “real education” in biology, and realized that organic farming is the only way to go.
Kees is a big believer in local farm economies, and keeping local money circulating in local communities. She says:
“We know that if something is sold locally, that dollar turns over seven times on a local Main Street in rural America. If we have a concentrated animal feeding operation where they’re milking three to four to five to 30,000 dairy cows, we know almost all of that money is leaving that community.”
There’s never been a better time to support your local organic farm, and keep farm profits in local communities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently reported that for every dollar American consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents—the lowest amount since the USDA started tracking the data in 1993. According to the USDA, net farm income has dropped 50 percent since 2013, and the majority of farmers lost money last year.