All posts tagged: Hannah Henry

Buying Local in a Buzzing Economy

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

How many times have you heard “Buy Local” or “Support Local Businesses”? Probably hundreds of times. So why this “local” push? What does it do for you or your community? With summer here, the concept of buying locally will only increase, specifically about your local farmers’ markets. While providing you with delicious produce, farmers markets potentially have a more significant impact on the community than it does just in your fridge.

First off, let’s explore some fun facts:

  • Did you know that foods in the U.S. travel an average of 1,500 miles just to get onto your plate? Besides providing community perks, farmers markets cut down on the pollution due to these extensive trips.
  • The growers that you meet at farmers markets can also answer all of your questions about what products they have, where they came from, and how they were grown or raised.
  • People who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions compared to 1-2 per visit if they went to the grocery store! Talk about getting connected in your community!
  • The USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service began tracking the farmers market activity in 1994. Since then, the markets in the United States have grown to 8,720, which is a little over 7% from 2013 alone.
  • The total annual sales from U.S. farmers markets are valued at about $1 billion!

What are Farmers Markets

To start let’s define what farmers markets really are. In essence, these local markets include farmers who live in nearby towns who bring their fresh produce and more to an open space, most likely an open parking lot, for community members to purchase. Believe it or not, the USDA has actual state rules and operating guidelines that farmers have to follow in order to be eligible to sell their vegetables and fruits, which means their locally grown items have been reviewed by similar, if not the same, standards as your grocery store products! In order to participate, the farmer or vendor agrees to pay a fee or percentage of their sales for their booth space.

Inside the Community Economy

Now, let’s jump into the good stuff- the economic impact of farmers markets in your very own communities! To start us off, did you know 89% of farmers surveyed reported sourcing their supplies locally, meaning that what they receive from their communities they are essentially putting back in! This is nearly 2 times the amount of money that is put in compared to wholesale farms, which reported only purchasing 45% of their inputs from their neighbors. To break it down even further, studies conducted by Civic Economics discovered that for every $1.00 we spend at a large grocery store chain, only 15 cents will stay in your local community.

Creating Jobs… Locally

Farmers markets in South Carolina reportedly created between 257-to-361 full-time jobs and generated up to $13 million, by one estimate. Another study from the Sacramento Region in California discovered a job effect of 31.8, which meant for every $1 million of “output” or sales they produce, a total of 31.8 jobs are being created within their community, including on-farm labor and other farm-related positions.

Farmers who are in higher demand by their community members have an opportunity for growth or expansion. By doing so, more “hands-on-deck” during the growing and selling time will be necessary. Through this type of scenario, local community members may find additional work or primary work readily available to them by these farmers.

Ease of Access for Communities

The Farmers Market coalition reported in 2016 that $20.2 million in SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) were spent at local farmers markets. Additionally, over half of the farmers market shoppers (60%) reported that their local market had better prices than they experienced in their grocery stores!

Want to start shopping locally this summer? Click here to find a farmers market nearest you!

Learning the impact of local businesses provides an educational opportunity for youth in your community. Amongst all Junior Achievement’s programs, JA Our Community puts a high focus on helping elementary-school students understand how their community operates, what they can do to contribute, and how their local economy works.

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Elementary Milestones for Future Success

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

From Kindergarten to fifth-grade, most children do not have a clear understanding of finances or money in general. What they learn at this stage in life are concepts that will continue to build as they grow older. While at this stage in their lives, they don’t have bills or loans to worry about, it puts their financial future on the horizon and gives them something to think about as they get older.

To put your child ahead of the curve, there are countless ways to introduce every-day transactions and learning-moments! Here are the primary milestones that elementary students are struggling with and ways that you can get your child more confident with outside of the classroom:

Grocery Store

While at the grocery store or any place of business, there are tons of opportunities to show your child the thought process and money concepts you use to make your decisions. Be sure to take a few seconds when you’re deciding between two items to discuss what you are using to determine which product or service is better than the other and why you are choosing a particular one. As you go down an aisle that contains products that are not a necessity but are something you want, discuss the difference between needs and wants. Include how by picking a want you may be sacrificing another product that was also want (or even a need) on your list, explain that this concept is called opportunity cost.

Once your shopping trip has been brought to the register, note that while you know everything has a cost, your child might not. Explain to him or her that all of the products you picked up at the store have a cost as well as taxes that are added to them. The taxes that are included are called sales tax, which states and local governments impose that help pay for schools, roads, police and fire departments. While the concept of taxes goes far deeper than this, it will begin to create the foundation for further growth and understanding in the future. This is also a perfect time to explain to your child what method of payment you are choosing and why. This will get him or her more familiar with money options available in the economy.

Banking

Before exposing your child to the concepts or mortgage companies, credit unions, and investment banks, start with the primary institution where money is held, your local bank or even internet banking app. This is the heart of financial literacy as children learn how savings, currency, deposits, and types of money typically start their journey here.

Tell your child what you want to accomplish while you are at the bank and what you will have to do in order to accomplish this goal. When depositing a check, tell your child about the deposit form you fill out and what it will do when it is processed through the system.This is also a great time to set your child up with a savings account; this will teach him or her that it is never too early to start and that by beginning early, they are preparing for their future.

Home

Finally, after the trip to the bank and the grocery store, you’re home. The place where families come together to discuss their day, what they did, learned, and what they are excited for in the future. This is the perfect place for conversations of budgeting/money management and charitable giving goals!

A survey conducted by the American Psychology Association found that 95% of those surveyed believe parents should talk to their children about money, yet only 64% said they were taught to manage money correctly, and 37% responded that they speak with their family members on the subject of money. There lies an area of opportunity for you and your family to come together.

Budgeting is one of the most important pieces when it comes to financial success. Creating a budget, managing the budget, and sticking with the budget. Bring your children into the conversation when you are creating the family budget. If you don’t create one, now would be a great time to start! Include all of the living expenses like home/mortgage, utilities, car costs, insurance, etc. From there examine what is being spent on the non-urgent resources included in your family’s every-day living. By doing this, you’re not only enlightening your child to the real world of the expense of life, but you are also enabling them to start a habit of their budgeting and saving for the future.

If your child receives an allowance, be sure to convey that while their money circulates throughout the world, it is in their hands to determine what to do with it. Are they wanting to spend it, save it, or perhaps give it to a charity? These money decisions should be your child’s as they worked for it. Be sure to provide them with some advice as to what it could go towards long-term versus short-term, or what it could accomplish by assisting an organization that seeks to make changes locally or globally.

With all of these opportunities to share your knowledge of money with your elementary school child, you are not only arming him or her with the knowledge to make better decisions for the future, but you are assisting them to develop on concepts that are crucial to future development.

For a list of resources for your elementary school student, check out Junior Achievement of South Florida’s programs here!

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