Celebrating National Farmers Market Week

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2016 - This is National Farmers Market Week (Aug. 7-13), a great time to visit a farmers market and celebrate your local farmers, ranchers and food producers.

And a farmers market shouldn't be hard to find in your neighborhood. Today there are more than 8,500 farmers markets in the U.S., up from just over 4,000 a decade ago, with some 150,000 farmers selling their production directly to consumers through these markets, via farm stands or through community support agriculture subscriptions. You can pinpoint a market near you through a national directory maintained by USDA.

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CropLife America (CLA) joined in the celebration, pointing out that with less than 1 percent of the American population employed as growers these days, farmers markets help consumers better connect with the food they eat and give farmers the opportunity to talk about the technology and methods they use.

“Consumers want to know how food is grown, and farmers have a lot to say - making farmers markets not only important but indispensable,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “One-on-one dialogue between a farmer and a mother, a chef, or a teacher, for instance, helps consumers better understand today's agriculture,” including how farmers protect their crops, Vroom said.

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The Farmers Market Coalition is also encouraging consumers to get out and “shake the hand that feeds you.”

The farmers, ranchers, and producers who make up America's farmers markets are ambassadors of their regions; they provide the public with fresh, in season, and nutritious food, as well as serving as a window into the world of agriculture to their urban, suburban, and rural costumers,” the coalition said in a release. “We believe that the growth of farmers markets represents a new and a growing interest in American agriculture, as well as an understanding on the part of consumers that they are important participants in America's farm economy.


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