Commitment To Local
Communities around the country are hosting special events for National Farmers Market WeekÂ from Aug. 5-11. This week, you may see games, concerts and even giveaways sponsored byÂ Chipotle at your local farmers market (if you live in Colorado, that is).
"About 25 percent of U.S. farmers sell exclusively through farmers markets," Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan writes. "Their commitment and ties to the communities they serve are linked directly to the success of their businesses."
According to the updated National Farmers Market Directory, the number of local markets continues to climb, with roughly a 10 percent increase in listings compared to last year. The number of active farmers markets increased most dramatically in the Southeast, Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.
Connect With Your Local Market
To kick off the events, the USDA highlights some good news for those involved with the direct-to-consumer food movement.
In a recent press release, the USDA notes funding increases for Electronic Benefit Transfer systems, which helps consumers use benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets.
The USDA also wants consumers to explore Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, the new digital guide that allows users to plot farmers markets on an interactive map.
- USDA Directory Records More Than 7,800 Farmers Markets (USDA)
- New Study: Americans Really Love Fresh Food, Farmers Markets (Earth Eats)
- Growth or Glut? A Thousand New Farmers Markets in 2011 (Earth Eats)