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Minnesota farmers could benefit from higher prices at grocery stores

Due to supply chain uncertainties, more people may turn to their local farmer for fresh produce. Here’s why joining a CSA might be right for you.

WAVERLY, Minn. — Supply chain uncertainties may extend into the summer months, meaning more people may turn to their local farmer for fresh produce.

“It was amazing, I think it was one of the first times in this country that people really had to think when they saw all those empty shelves in the supermarket or the shelves that were only a third full. They started to really think ‘will there be food this summer, will there be what we like to eat?’ said Jerry Untiedt, who has been a farmer for more than five decades and owner of Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm in Waverly, Minnesota.

Jerry says he’s never seen anything like the start of supply chain issues resulting from the 2020 pandemic.

“They came out of the woodwork in search of fresh, local produce and the opportunity to be closer to their food supply,” Jerry said.

That year, Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm had more people than ever joining its CSA program, also known as Community Supported Agriculture, where you essentially pay a flat rate up front in the spring and for 17 weeks. , you get a variety of farm fresh produce. .

In this case, at Untiedt, a family share is 540 dollars for 17 weeks. This works out to around $32 per week.

“The local food community is hugely important and will continue to be more so as we continue down this path of supply disruptions,” Jerry said.

With more sticker shock hitting store shelves, more and more people are looking to buy directly from one of Minnesota’s 80 CSA farms.

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Jerry says they’re starting to see their CSA numbers go up as people look to have some food security in these uncertain times.

“When you bring in food from so many places around the world and you know they’re interrupted by weather conditions,” Jerry said. “We are seeing severe climate change in many parts of the world, we are looking at disruptions due to political upheaval. You look at this situation in Ukraine and we are directly affected by this.”

Untiedt’s has had many guest workers from Ukraine working on its farm for years.

They are still waiting for a few of their families who are still stranded in Ukraine and Europe to arrive safely in Minnesota.

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