Fall 2020

Northwest Farm Credit: Rural, Real Estate, Operating Loans; Farm Loans; Country Home Loans; Lot Loans; Equipment Financing; Young and Beginning Producers; Crop Insurance; Business Management Education; Property Appraisals

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Page 6 of 15

mom who starts all the plants. Merritt takes care of the cattle, hay and irrigation, along with the farm social media accounts, helping Gretchen with farm bookkeeping and other marketing. Merritt's sister, Megan, and her husband, Tom, are the faces of the storefront and spend many hours in the garden. Merritt says it took everyone pulling together this season to manage the changes they faced. "We wanted to use this crazy time to try some new things," says Merritt. "Instead of freaking out about the changes, we wanted to test some good ideas that we may continue to implement. This year we used a new check-list system at market, so the person handling money doesn't handle the food. It worked surprisingly well and will be something we continue. It's just like having handwashing stations at farmers markets now. It's a common-sense improvement we will continue down the road." fall 2020 6 "People who didn't want to shop at big grocery stores came to the outdoor farmers markets," says Merritt Acheson with Front Porch Farm. "When the supply chains slowed initially, people couldn't get everything they wanted at the store," says Merritt Acheson with Front Porch Farm. "I think it heightened their need for food security." We never came close to a food crisis in the U.S., but it made people more aware of where their food comes from. They also wanted to support their local businesses." Local food producers respond with ingenuity Merritt, his wife, Gretchen, and their family have been selling at farmers markets for 17 years. They also operate a small storefront on busy Highway 395 adjacent to their farm near Colville. At each farmers market, Front Porch Farm will sell between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds of fresh produce. Four markets a week. 100 markets a year. Come rain, shine, smoke or pandemic, customers rely on Front Porch Farm and 2020 was no exception. Front Porch Farm is a family business where each person's unique skills contribute to the whole. Merritt's dad, a former contractor, handles construction projects on the farm and manages the garden with Merritt's

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