The farms: We need to preserve our regional farming system and farms need every-day outlets that provide high margins and preserve their farm identities. Fact: We’ve lost 93% of food-producing farms in Washtenaw County since 1950. (USDA 2012 census data)
The consumer: Farmer’s markets offer a sense of community that is hard to beat. Locally produced food is fresher, and the knowledge of farming practices is something that consumers increasingly want to understand. Know your farmer, know your food.
Our future is local: In the industrialized food system, farmers receive only 17 cents on the retail sales dollar. This is not enough to sustain small to medium farmers. The initial Argus location was an experiment to see if this new model could be sustainable. The model is simple: Farmers own the goods, and Argus acts as the sales processor through a single checkout for many farms, and sells at the prices that the farms set.
At Argus, the farms receive 80% of the sales price.
The neighborhood: Accomplished Ann Arborite Ashley Clague operated/owned Clague's Market at 1200 Packard Road for 43 years until it closed in 1968. This market served the neighborhood in a way that we rarely see now, since the advent of the supermarket and the more industrial food system. Clague’s had home delivery, and was supplied by local farms. In fact, Horace Whitney of Whitney Farm supplied Clague’s; his granddaughter Malaika is now farming at the Whitney Farm- and she supplies Argus! The Clague family is pleased that a market will once again be located there!
Financial needs and Fundraising Approach: As an L3C organization with a mission to grow the local food economy, Argus does not generate excess income from operations. Therefore, we plan to raise the $150,000 needed to open the new store through a combination of community fundraising and social impact loans. Every donation received will decrease the required loan amount and ensure that Argus can carry out our mission.
We hope that you’ll join us in helping create a vibrant market that encourages our local farms to supply us with more wonderful products!
Our future is local,
The Argus Farm Stop Team
Thanks for supporting us!
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