A new program is ramping up efforts to help farmers in Moore, Lee and Rockingham Counties keep their land in production and keep their businesses viable.
Rockingham Extension Agent Paige Burns says the Green Fields Initiative is a spin-off from a federal program that helps farmers directly market their produce to customers and restaurants.
"It's not necessarily convenient for either restaurants to modify their ordering, their delivery through local farmers. It's really easier for them to go through some of the big produce brokers."
Burns says the Green Fields Initiative is pursuing several grants to help boost local produce sales— including a hub that would wash and trim produce before it goes to market.
Burns says the program is also applying for grants to help educate the public about sustainability and legislators about policies that help farmers.