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Support the Hernando County Growers Association

What We Do

The Hernando County Growers Association (HCGA) connects growers with consumers through an open- air market, a county wide community supported agriculture program (CSA), and a wholesale distribution network.

The HCGA serves the Brooksville and Hernando County community in three main capacities:

1.        As a public health advocate by connecting consumers with fresh, clean and healthy produce; nutrition education and access for low income consumers.

2.        As a producer network providing a powerful marketing venue for growers to supply the retail and wholesale market with fresh locally grown produce as well as access to resources, education, collective buying power, grants and funding.

3.        As a community oriented organization providing consumers with a friendly, clean, warm and welcoming approach to fresh produce, nutritional health, community, and fun while contributing to the local economy by drawing consumers into the historic downtown Brooksville business district.

The HCGA fills a gap in the Brooksville and greater Hernando County region by providing a cooperative marketing initiative to growers in Hernando County.  It serves the low income/low food access (LI/LA) areas of downtown Brooksville (United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2017) through participation in the Florida Organic Grower’s Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) (Florida Organic Growers, 2017), and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) (Department of Elder Affairs, State of Florida, 2017) as well as the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) Free SNAP/EBT Equipment Program (Farmers Market Coalition, 2017).

Hernando county farmers average less than $2,152 net income per 106-acre farm (City Data, 2017).  Nearly 65% of Farms in Hernando county are between 10 and 49 acres, and 293 or 36% of farms earn less than $1,000 in gross revenues (United States Department of Agriculture, 2012).  The average net cash farm income in Hernando county from operations is negative $11,865.

Highlights

The HCGA participates in dollar matching programs (Fresh Access Bucks and SFMNP) that offer additional buying power to EBT/SNAP consumers, increasing access to fresh local produce and bolstering local producer revenues.  Additionally, the HCGA provides marketing opportunities to producer members through its web site, social media presence and collective print/radio/TV advertising.