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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community-supported agriculture, commonly referred to as a CSA model, is a system that connects the producer and consumers within the food system more closely by allowing the consumer to subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms. It is an alternative, socioeconomic model of agriculture and food distribution that allows the producer and consumer to share the risks of farming. In return for subscribing to a harvest, subscribers receive either a weekly or bi-weekly box of produce or other farm goods. This includes in-season fruits and vegetables and can expand to dried goods, eggs, milk, meat, etc. Typically, farmers try to caress a relationship with it’s subscribers by sending weekly letters of what is happening on the farm, inviting them for harvest, or holding an open-farm event. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs.

Farm Credit

Farm Credit and Value-Added Agriculture

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The farm credit system includes many lending organizations around the country and is a great source of financing, including for non-traditional farmers like CSAs and value-added on-farm processors. These institutions also sometimes provide educational opportunities around financial literacy, financial statements and what it takes to successfully repay a loan

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