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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Farm Supply: Evolving with the community, for the community

An introduction to Farm Supply

Farm Supply was originally started in 1950 in San Luis Obispo to service the then numerous dairies operating in the county. The board of directors of the Farm Bureau got together and decided that a farmer-owned cooperative was what the region needed to support the agricultural industry. Although the dairies eventually moved out of the area, there are still roughly 2,400 farmers and ranchers that own the cooperative, which caters not just to farms, but to your neighbors as well. They still service the agricultural community from Paso Robles to Buelton via their five store locations, but their keen focus on community has led them to accommodating the backyard gardeners, weekend cowboys, and family homesteaders as well.

Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service and quality products, but we know that we’ve had to evolve with the Central Coast. Even though there are fewer producers now a-days, there is still a lot of product being raised so we are able to service the needs that come with that. - Cara Crye, CEO Farm Supply

Back in 1950, Farm Supply started by servicing the dairy industry in San Luis Obispo County. Photo courtesy of Farm Supply.

The Focus

Farm Supply is not just focused on being a retailer, they are also highly active in education and community activities. Their locations host various workshops and tutorials, sometimes seeing as many as 250 community members show up (before COVID) to learn how to take care of fruit trees!

The company really wants to support agriculture at every scale and is active in the area’s 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) clubs to help students prepare for the county fairs in Paso Robles and Santa Barbara.

Farm Supply is very rooted in the community and we feel passionate about giving back, especially when it comes to agriculture. - Cara Crye, CEO of Farm Supply

The Slow Money SLO Connection

Back in 2012 when Jeff Wade founded the local chapter of Slow Money, he asked to meet with administrators at Farm Supply to tune them in to what the organization was all about. That’s when Cara Crye met Jeff and learned about the support that Slow Money SLO was offering to the agricultural and food businesses in the county. Cara really understands the value of Slow Money SLO’s work and is very excited to see the Farm to School initiative grow. Given the alignment of missions of the two entities, Farm Supply has since been ready to lend a hand whenever they can.

Nothing is better than locally grown produce. I don’t think people realize how much freshness counts - what that means in terms of nutrition and local economy. I’m so glad you are working together (with San Luis Coastal USD) on Farm to School. - Cara Crye, CEO Farm Supply

Farm Supply CEO Cara Crye with former CEO Jim Brabeck, both of whom met with Jeff Wade in 2012. Photo courtesy of Farm Supply.

The Result

The connection forged between Farm Supply and Slow Money SLO has led to various other connections between farmers and institutional buyers. Being the host of farmer-to-buyer mixers has made Farm Supply an indispensable asset to the growth of agricultural commerce for the county’s small farm community. Slow Money SLO is forever grateful for their hospitality!

We’ve been able to help in small ways from time to time. It’s been fun to host a couple mixers and we’re always happy to do that. - Cara Crye, CEO Farm Supply

Farmer meets institutional buyer at a farmer-to-buyer mixer held at Farm Supply in 2017.

What’s next for Farm Supply

As activities begin to pick up, Farm Supply looks forward to hosting workshops for the community once again! They are also very excited to continue to support youth in agriculture through 4H and FFA, as well as support the Farm to School efforts of Slow Money SLO. Additionally, the company values the work of the SLO Food Bank and continues to look for opportunities to support their work whenever they can.


You can find Farm Supply’s locations in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria, and Buelton. Go to their website to keep updated on their workshops and community events!

If you or a business you know is interested in supporting Slow Money SLO events, check out our sponsors page!


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