National Farmers Market Week Underway

National Farmers Market Week Underway

Farmer's Markets are a great way to get fresh produce. Farmer's Markets are a great way to get fresh produce.

August 7, 2016

The 17th Annual National Farmers Market Week is underway across the country as the season peaks. There is definitely a lot to celebrate: farmers markets have grown 50% over the last five years nationwide.

"Markets result in more viable regional economies and local farm businesses, increased access to fresh, nutritious food, and stronger social networks that help keep communities healthy," according to the Farmers Market Coalition's website.  Farmers markets help community members learn where their food comes from and give them the opportunity to meet and interact with the the people who actually grow it.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supports the efforts of local farmers markets and the effect they have on the economy. "Farmers markets are an important part of strong local and regional food systems that connect farmers with new customers and grow rural economies. In many areas, they are also expanding access to fresh, healthy food for people of all income levels," said Secretary Vilsack. "National Farmers Market Week recognizes the growth of these markets and their role in supporting both urban and rural communities." 

Learn more about the importance of farmers markets with some fun facts from the Coalition. 

  • Small and mid-size farmers who sell at farmers markets have a nearly 10 percent greater chance of staying in business than those selling goods through traditional channels.
  • 50% of farmers selling at farmers markets derive at least half their revenue from farmers market sales.
  • The number of farmers markets operating in winter months has nearly tripled since 2010. The 2,469 markets open in the winter provide an extended opportunity for farmers to do business.
  • In Iowa and Oklahoma, every dollar spent at farmers markets led to an additional $0.58 – $1.36 in sales at other nearby businesses.
  • Farmers markets foster interactions among people of different races, classes, ages, and lifestyles. 28% of respondents surveyed about public markets said the greatest benefit of the market to the community is that it “brings people together.”
  • Four out of five vendors discuss farming practices with their customers, educating them about farming and its interactions with the natural environment. 

Be sure to stop by your local farmers market to support local farmers and to celebrate the peak of the season!

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