Ask a Farmer: How Do You Give Back to The Community?

Questions Moms Ask Arizona Farmers & Ranchers: Response to AZ Mom Question #6

I’m all about giving back to the community: How do you give back?”

Duncan Family Farms ProduceWe agree— giving back is not only a priority, it’s a responsibility!  At Duncan Family Farms we are strongly committed to giving back to our community while producing clean, healthy, life-giving food and improving the environment.  Our motto is, “Taking care of people, taking care of the land.”

Our farm has been rooted in community outreach from the beginning.  From our on-farm festivals to agricultural education tours, we have reached hundreds of thousands in the community who now associate locally grown fresh food with Duncan Family Farms.  Due to rezoning, however, we had to close down this part of our farm in 2002. We now take our educational and outreach off the farm and directly into the community through several different programs, including resource conservation efforts, charity involvement and community education

As stewards of the land, recycling and conserving our land and the most precious Arizona resource –water, are at the top of our priority list.  We work to help conserve our soil by growing cover crops that are not for harvest, but are planted to prevent soil erosion, maintain organic matter and control weeds.  We also decrease water usage and erosion by utilizing a number of state-of-the-art watering techniques that increase water efficiency and germination rates.  These efforts helps us preserve the land for generations to come, as we protect our livelihood and share limited resources with our community.

We are equally as passionate about our education and community outreach initiatives as we are about farming itself.  One way we give back to our community is through our long-term support of the Association of Arizona Food banks and the development of our Statewide Gleaning Project.  This innovative program uses inmate labor to “glean” fresh produce from the farm’s fields that is then donated to Arizona Food Banks.  We help educate the public and promote healthy living as well, through our involvement with several educational programs, our Salad a Day the Duncan Way program, by providing produce to local schools and by going into the classrooms to further educate about agriculture.  We also sponsor community events, such as Devoured Phoenix, Feast, Farmer Chef Connection and Arizona in Action.   Educating the public and promoting healthy living is not only important to us, it’s our passion.

Our farm is over two decades old and has changed over the years, but our mission and commitment to taking care of the land and taking care of people has always been our guiding post.

Patty EmmertAdvice by Patty Emmert, the specialty crop manager at Duncan Family Farms.  Duncan Family Farms is a 2,500 acre produce farm in the far-West Valley, owned and operated by Arnott Duncan, a 4th generation Arizona farmer, and his wife Kathleen. The Duncan family are members of Arizona Farm Bureau.

Project Coordinator for “Ask a Farmer” Savannah N. Bayci


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