Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

What Is Buying “Local”?

March 30, 2015Crops, Farmers and Ranchers

By Greg Anderson, Farmer, Newman Grove, Nebraska

One of the hottest topics I’ve heard recently is that we should buy local. I think buying local is a popular misconception among the general public. While I don’t disagree that you can’t beat the freshness or taste of locally produced foods in peak season, I think there’s more to the issue than meets the eye.

We are blessed to have an abundance of food choices in this country. If you want strawberries in February in Nebraska, look no further than the produce section of your local grocery store. However, they probably weren’t produced locally. But that’s the beauty of our food system – we’re very good at working together.

Nebraska farmers and ranchers take great pride in their ability to provide food for hungry families. In fact, the average farmer can feed 155 people. And here in the heart of the heartland, it’s something we’re quite good at. Although you may not purchase the food from me directly, the crops and livestock I raise locally provide food, fiber and fuel to folks across the state and around the world.

I raise soybeans and cattle near Newman Grove on a farm that has been in my family for 142 years. My soybeans go to feeding animals, such as hungry chickens, pigs and cattle. In fact, poultry consumes more than half of all soybean meal produced in the United States. Oil from soybeans is used for a variety of purposes as well – from food uses such as cooking oil, margarine and salad dressings to industrial uses such as biodiesel, household paints and stains. By the way, Dorothy Lynch dressing, which started in Columbus, is the largest user of soybean oil in the state

My fellow farmers and I are grateful for the opportunity to put food on our tables and yours and want to thank you for your ongoing trust and support. As a local farmer, I am proud to be a part of the most advanced, most efficient food system in the world.