By Jessica Domel

If you stop by any garden center, you can buy the seeds, load up your soil and even buy nutrients to help your garden grow. So, why do we need large-scale farms?

I’ve heard these questions asked a number of times, especially as the locavore movement gained traction. If I can grow radishes on my back porch, why do I need a farm, right?

We need farms because most people cannot possibly grow all the foods they need or want.

I live in Central Texas, and I can’t get a pineapple to grow here. And the bugs love my tomatoes.

I don’t have enough land to grow enough sweet corn for it to pollinate and create a decent crop of corn.

I also work full-time and can’t devote the care and resources a garden would require to grow everything I want. So I go to the grocery store. I buy Texas products.

Our farmers and ranchers have nurtured their growing skills for years, sometimes generations, to ensure we have a healthy food supply. They didn’t just Google “Grow corn for food” and hope it worked out.

Our ranchers and dairymen know how to care for their cattle and other livestock. They don’t just release them into a pasture and say, “See you in a few months, y’all!” They know taking care of livestock requires knowledge of disease, anatomy and proper diet. They know it takes time and observation.

I can’t do that in my backyard. I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate the smell.

Not only that, I don’t think I could afford the time or the resources needed to feed my family. Farming isn’t cheap—even on a small scale.

So I rely on our Texas farmers and ranchers to ensure the health and safety of my family. That’s why I need a farmer.

Why do you need a farmer?