In the summer of 2015 NOFA-NY conducted a survey among producers. Following are the highlights
- There is strong and persistent feeling among respondents that NYS has a tremendous demand for organic food that is far outpaced by local organic production, this has implications for NYS farmers and overall economy of the state. Large volumes of organic food is imported from other areas of the USA and from abroad. If we can correct this we will help everyone – NYS farmers will be more successful tapping into a large, locally available market. Consumers will be more satisfied obtaining food locally. It will have a positive impact on the NYS economy. Increasing organic farming in the State will bring along with it many environmental health benefits.
- The top issue being reported by farmers is the economics of farming, making a decent living and being able to pay or earn reasonable money as a farm worker.
- There is a lack of infrastructure to move organic food to market (slaughter facilities, shipping, storage, marketing co-ops, etc.) that is making it challenging for smaller organic farms to scale up and for conventional farmers who have scale to make the switch to organic.
- A lot of work and grant funding has focused on beginning farmers. There is a call for more advanced programming for organic farmers who need higher level research and education on the latest in large scale organic farming methods.