Farming is on the rise in Rhode Island. Since 2002, the state has seen a 42 percent increase in the number of farms. Today, 1,240 farms call Rhode Island home. The state is second in the nation for direct selling to the public through farmers markets, farm stores, and restaurants.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is doing its part to keep farms in the state, too. For example, Rhode Island’s Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) offers grants and programs that link existing farms with new farmers who can’t afford to buy the them.

But there is more work to be done.

Inspired by an article in the November issue of Rhode Island Monthly magazine, Modern Farming in Rhode Island: A Community Conversation explore the issues and opportunities faced by today’s local farmers. The panel discussion is moderated by NBC10 news anchor Mario Hilario, produced by Rhode Island PBS, and presentation by Rhode Island Monthly and the Rhode Island Foundation.