In recognition last week of National Farmers Market Week, USDA Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning congratulated communities with established markets and encouraged others to consider establishment.
National Farmers Market Week, always the first week in August, is an annual celebration of the nation’s farmers markets.
“Farmers markets are community and economic development contributors. They offer local producers a place for displaying, disseminating information about and distributing their goods and services. Farmers markets offer residents and visitors the opportunity to access and learn about local products,” Dunning stated. “The positive impact of farmers markets cannot be ignored. Not only do farmers markets offer healthy food choices, but they create jobs and build businesses. The folks selling in the markets spend money in the community. Income generated from farmers markets is returned when the dollars are spent for other goods and services. Rural Development is committed to supporting farmers markets and the local and regional food systems.”
Missouri, according to the National Farmers Market Directory, is among the top 10 states in number of farmers markets. Missouri has 245 farmers markets listed in the diretory. Based upon the number of farmers markets listed, farmers market establishment has increased by 74 percent since 2008.
Since fiscal year 2010, Misouri Rural Development has invested over $600,000 in assisting local farmers markets. As an example, in Fair Grove, Rural Development is helping expand operations of the local farmers market located at the historic mill site by assisting in the purchase of a coooler/freezer and a portable storage building. In Houston, the farmers market is 7 a.m. until noon Friday and 3-6 p.m. Tuesday.