Prospering through a greater role in food
Oregon rancher Connie Hatfield often visits urban grocery stores in her role as co-founder of the Country Natural Beef cooperative. When she tells customers that she is from a ranch family, they inevitably thank her for producing the naturally grown product. “And then, they tell me about their grandpa who used to have a ranch,” she says. “But there aren’t as many of those stories as there used to be.” In the last half century, as food production has become mechanized and centralized, the quantity of food produced by each farmer and rancher has increased dramatically, and the number of farmers and ranchers has declined precipitously.
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