GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT)-- From farm to fork, farmers put their heart and soul into producing the products you find at your local farmer's market.
"It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears, to produce food and they do it with dignity, and respect for the land and environment in these communities,” said Wendy White with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
White has been traveling the state this summer sharing stories on why you should buy local.
"People want that connection, to know where their food comes from," said White.
Farmers said farming in the valley contributes more than just fresh produce; it's a staple of our economy.
"When all else fails, such as the oil and gas industry, we will still have agriculture," said owner of Z’s Orchard Carol Zadrozny.
The US Census of Agriculture said in Mesa County from 2007 to 2012 there was a 28 percent growth in the number of farms. The census says in Colorado there are over 36,000 farms contributing $40 billion to our state’s economy.
"Everyone needs a farmer. If you eat you need a farmer," said Zadrozny.
Peach Haven Farms is a new farm based out of Palisade. This spring they harvested their first crop.
"We've learned so much about how to move our product, how to pick our product…It’s been a big learning year,” said President of Peach Haven Farms Taylor Moreland.
Looking to find something different from your typical 9a.m. to 5p.m., Moreland says farming is an industry he loves. It’s a peaceful way to make a living.
"It’s an enjoyable business to be in. A lot of work, but enjoyable,” said Moreland.