USDA Directory Records More Than 7,800 Farmers Markets
Adapted Press Release from http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012/08/0262.xml&contentidonly=true
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced a 9.6 percent increase in National Farmers Market Directory listings as the kickoff to National Farmer’s Market Week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s directory, a database published online at farmersmarkets.usda.gov, identifies 7,864 farmers markets operating throughout the United States. The information collected in the directory is self-reported data provided voluntarily by farmers market managers through an annual outreach effort. Last year, USDA’s directory listed 7,175 markets.
“Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation’s food system,” said Merrigan. “These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods. The directory is an online tool that helps connect farmers and consumers, communities and businesses around the country.”
North Carolina, with 202 farmers’ markets, is included in the nation’s top ten states, in terms of the number of markets reported in the directory.
USDA has taken several steps to help small and mid-sized farmers as part of the department’s commitment to support local and regional food systems, and increase consumer access to fresh, healthy food in communities across the country.
Many markets will host fun activities to celebrate National Farmers Market Week including pie contests, festivals, cooking demonstrations, events for kids, raffle drawings and giveaways. USDA officials will visit markets around the country between Aug. 5 and Aug. 11, to honor growers and commemorate National Farmers Market Week.
The USDA National Farmers Market Directory is available at farmersmarkets.usda.gov (Not to worry, the Midtown Farmers’ Market is listed!!). Be sure to vote for us next year, in the annual Farmers’ Market competition. Info about the competition can be found on the USDA’s site.