Program connects Utah farmers and consumers

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Farmers from around Utah held an open house this week to teach the public about local produce and gave them the opportunity to purchase harvest before it hits stores shelves.

The Community Supported Agriculture open house introduced the public to farmers from around the state and gave shoppers an opportunity to pre-pay for produce it ripens each season.

"That's really key because that way the share holders are taking some of the risk of the farming operation. They pay up front and the farmer knows he's got that much funding to duplicate his operation and he doesn't have to go out and get a bank loan," said Therese Meyer, Great Salt Lake Resource and Development Council.

The program has been around for nearly seven years, allowing buyers to get fruits and vegetables they won't be able to find in the big chain grocery stores.

"This is a good way to also learn about new foods because a lot of these farmers are growing unique heirloom produce that you can't actually get at the grocery store," said Meyer. "It's especially good for kids to learn where their food comes from; that food doesn't just come from the grocery store."

Consumers are able to get fresh, uncontaminated products from here in Utah instead of produce that is delivered over long distances.

"Consumers can connect with the farmers, and support them in their farming efforts. It's local farming, it's healthy food and it's very close to the point of consumption, so there's very little transportation costs involved," said Meyer.

For more information about the Community Supported Agriculture program, visit www.csautah.org.