The farm-to-table movement has helped thousands of farmers sweeten the fruits of their labor. But whether or not it can sustain itself remains an open question. Barring a radical shift in the movement’s general strategy, I’d say the prospects look grim.
The national effort to localize food systems has its earliest roots in the Nixon era. It was then that Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz arrogantly decreed that American farms should “get big or get out.” For many Americans — even those brought up on TV dinners — this message was too much.