More Farmers’ Markets Nationwide
A new USDA directory shows a 17 percent growth rate in the number of farmers’ markets operating this year throughout the United States.
More farmers markets means more choices for fresh, local produce.
than 1,000 new farmers markets have been recorded across the country, according
to results released recently in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2011
National Farmers Market Directory.
annual report indicates a total of 7,175 farmers’ markets operate throughout
the United States as more farmers are marketing their products directly to
consumers than ever before. Last year, the USDA reported that 6,132 markets
were operating across the country.
remarkable growth in farmers’ markets is an excellent indicator of the staying
power of local and regional foods," says Agriculture Deputy Secretary
Kathleen Merrigan. "These outlets provide economic benefits for producers
to grow their businesses and also to communities by providing increased access
to fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods. In short, they are a critical
ingredient in our nation's food system."
market listings were submitted to USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service by
farmers’ market managers on a voluntary, self-reported basis between April 18
and June 24, as part of USDA's annual outreach effort. USDA invited market
managers to submit desired changes in their market's directory profile as well
as new market listings. Information in the directory is also continually
updated throughout the year in response to incoming requests.
2011 National Farmers Market Directory results were released for National
Farmers Market Week this week (August 7-13) as declared by Secretary of
Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
directory reveals that several states have experienced rapid growth in farmers’
markets since 2010, reflecting a growing interest outside of the far west and northeast
states, where the popularity of farmers’ markets is more well-established. Alaska and Texas
ranked at the top for most growth in farmers’ markets at 46 and 38 percent,
respectively. The top 10 list for growth includes:
(35 markets, up 46 percent); Texas (166 markets, up 38 percent); Colorado (130
markets, up 38 percent); New Mexico (80 markets, up 38 percent); Indiana
(171markets, up 37 percent); Oklahoma (61 markets, up 32 percent); South Dakota
(29 markets, up 32 percent); Pennsylvania (266 markets, up 31 percent); Ohio
(278 markets, up 31 percent); and Michigan (349 markets, up 30 percent);