Farmers find value in produce stands


    Local farmers' stands are popping up on the sides of the road.

    1733 Produce is going on their third year selling fruits and vegetables, and they say their operation gets bigger every year.

    The tailgates full of sweet corn attract customers who want their fresh produce.

    "We came to support local growers. They happen to have chemical-free stuff here. It's a real good bag and I'm ready to go home and cook it," said Kearney resident Chase Leach.

    Local farmer Jim Bamford said it was his son's idea to start selling at a stand.

    "We've always been in the farming business. My wife battled cancer and so my son's goal is to try and get people to eat healthy and try to get some of the chemicals out of our climate," said Jim Bamford with 1733 Produce.

    Bamford said this is just another way to make money as a farmer.

    "I'm just into corn right now and there's not much money there. That's why my son is getting into this trying to stay active in the farming industry," Bamford said.

    "It's a wonderful thing that they do. They spend their hard times growing this stuff. You can see the care that they give, gives up the great produce so I like to support them for doing that. It's a wonderful thing," Leach said.

    Ag economists say farming is headed this way and farmers need to focus less on commodity and look at the value in other places.

    "It's a different entrepreneurial perspective but it also means different marketing and a different skill set for that producer. It's not just growing crops and thinking about how do I sell it, well that's just taking it to the grain elevator or following the board of trade. This is building relationships," said Purdue University Ag Economist Jim Henderson.

    And building relationships is just what 1733 Produce is doing.

    "It's 1,733 miles to each coast so we're right here in the center of the United States just trying to make a living in farming and make the world a little bit healthier with what they eat," Bamford said.

    1733 Produce will be selling for the rest of the summer, and into early fall they'll start selling pumpkins as well.

    Their stand is located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 39th Street in Kearney.

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