A survey about agricultural resources available to farmers in the South Coast region of San Mateo County has identified common concerns, according to Puente, the Pescadero and LaHonda-based community organization which sent out a questionnaire to 120 local farmers.
Declining farm and ranchland, increasing difficulty finding housing affordable for agrarian incomes, issues around regulations, farm interns and costs as well as access to land were common concerns identified by survey respondents, according to Doniga Markegard, a local farmer who raises pastured beef, lamb, pork and eggs with husband Eric at Markegard Family Grass-Fed, and the author of the survey.
The top resources identified as needs for local farmers include incentives for landowners to keep agricultural land, access to affordable health care and access to legal assistance, said Kerry Lobel, Executive Director of Puente.
Puente initiated the survey in order to identify opportunities to help grow the South Coast’s local economy by combining and sharing resources, as well as to identify any needs in the agricultural community for social services, Markegard said.
Respondents took the survey online or through a paper questionnaire sent in the mail, according to Markegard.
The survey results were released Friday morning in Pescadero, where interested vendors and community members met immediately afterwards regarding the second season of the Pescadero Grown! Farmer’s Market starting on May 3.
Many thanks to Cindy Simms and the staff of the Pescadero Country Store for providing space and food for the gathering.