Well, part of the problem is that the mentality of folks is still such that if you get a product from a farmer, it should be cheap because it did not have to go through the channels to get to a store. The large agribusinesses are subsidized heavily by the government and although they make make several million dollars in a good year, in a bad year, their loans are going unpaid.
Eggs have been very cheap on a farm for years, not reflecting inflation or the cost of living rising, yet feed, fuel and just about everything that a farmer needs costs so much more than it did yesterday, so to speak. Chickens used to be cheap on a farm too, but with the cost of electricity to hatch, then brood the chicks, and feed costs, not even counting any labour, an egg to chick is already over $15 dollars without a penny for the farmer. There are still old time farmers who have been selling eggs and chickens for cheap forever. They are underselling themselves and making it difficult for others to charge and recieve fair prices.
Here cows are the mainstay of farmer, and grain, which is grown for the cows. Cows at the moment are between $2000 and $3000 dollars, with newborn calves selling for $500 and more. Yet, because sheep and goats are not popular here, people still think they should be cheap. It takes a long time for a sheep to reach slaughter weight, at least 100 days if not longer. Why should it be $100 dollars or less? Even $50? It should not.
Small farms have the potential to support communities if communities support small farms. Much of what is procured from the grocery store can come direct to the consumer from a local farm. Farmer's markets are only one small avenue of vending a farmer's wares, and they are heavily governed by the health authority. Kitchens now must be inspected, ingredients listed on labels and certain items, such as milk and meat cannot be sold at all from a farm. Meat must go to an abbatoir for government inspection which also raises the price $3 a pound or more.
Produce that comes from a farm should not cost less than a super grocery store. It should cost more. The produce provides exquisite nutrition from the farm to the table. The farmer works hard all day and often during the night, especially when baby animals are being born. The farmer's labour is seldom ever counted, yet they work seven days a week, many hours a day. I don't know of any other occupation where people are expected to work for free.
It is time that the communities really support small farms and begin to pay the farmers fair prices including their labour. Big business has the ability to provide what they want us to eat, leaving us little choice except to consume gentically modified or heavily sprayed goods. But a local farm can provide fresh organic food that actually has nutrition and flavour. Isn't that worth your health and the health of your loved ones?
I urge to you to consider adding the cost of a cup of coffee to the price of a dozen farm eggs and see how pleased the farmer will be. Or add the cost of a movie out with the family for a visit to your local farm. If you want the benefits of good food, please support your local farmer. The world depends on it.