You don’t have to be a farmer to be involved in agriculture. There are lots of little ways to help support this important industry. See five easy ways below:

1. Support Local Farmers

Courtesy of Don Petersen, Downtown Roanoke, Inc.

One of the easiest ways to be involved in your community’s agriculture is to build relationships with local farmers. Attend the weekly farmers market, join a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, or look for local in the grocery store. Buying local keeps money within the community, plus you have a first-hand resource on finding information about your food.

2. Join an Agricultural Organization

Youth can get a head-start on agriculture by joining an organization such as 4-H or FFA. These programs teach valuable life lessons through hard work and activities including animal care, fundraising, technical skills, fostering innovation and lots more. Find a local chapter in your state at ffa.org and 4-h.org.

3. Grow Your Own Plants

Farmers aren’t the only ones with green thumbs. Learn more about agriculture by actually doing it and grow your own garden. Your local farmers market, County Extension Service, Farm Bureau and the internet are all great resources for getting started. You can even grow certain foods indoors or in small containers if you don’t have lots of space, or get involved with a community garden in your area.

4. Visit an Agritourism Destination

Agritourism is becoming extremely popular across the nation, and includes places such as U-pick farms, where consumers can pick their own fresh fruits and vegetables, pumpkin patches, dairies and creameries, corn mazes, wineries, breweries and more. These farms open their operations to consumers with the intent of teaching them more about agriculture while also providing entertainment. Consumers get an up-close look at how their food is grown or processed, and more often than not, come away with lots of new and helpful knowledge.

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5. Stay Informed

Photo by Georgia Farm Bureau

Keep up to date on the latest agricultural issues, and make sure you’re getting information from reliable, fact-based sources – like this website! You can also find more information from The Center for Food Integrity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and through your local Farm Bureau offices, state Departments of Agriculture and Extension services.