Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, July 22, 2015,


Copyright 2015 University of Nebraska.


The local food “movement” has gained strength nationwide as well as right here in Nebraska. The production and consumption of nearly table ready food has gained popularity and has an important economic impact for those farmers and businesses involved in that segment of agriculture. The past decade has seen substantial and growing interest in the promotion of local food systems throughout the United States. The increasing consumer demands for fresh local produce and other farm products are driven by the beliefs that local food production systems are more sustainable, healthy, and supportive of local economies. As a testament to rising consumer demands, sales of local food through direct markets have grown tremendously — annual direct-market sales in the U.S. increased from $511 million in 1997 to $1.2 billion in 2007 (Martinez et al., 2010)1.