National Farmers Market week is celebrated August 5th through August 11th this year. Many studies show that farmer’s markets are improving the community, the economy, and the well-being of citizens across the United States. According to the Farmers Market coalition group, here is a deeper look at the four key benefits of buying products at the local farmers market:
- #1- Stimulates Local Economies
- Growers selling locally create 13 full time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned.
- According to the US Census of Agriculture data, farms selling local food through direct to consumer marketing channels like the farmers market were more likely to remain in business than other farms not utilizing the direct to consumer marketing channels.
- #2- Preserves Americans Farmland
- Farmers markets provide beginning farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs entry points to start small and give them the opportunity to test new products. In the 2017 National Young Farmers Coalition survey, community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers markets were the marketing channels that generated the highest proportion of new and beginning farmers’ sales.
- At a farmers market, 100% of food dollars goes back to the local farmer. When consumers spend at traditional food outlets, farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar.
- Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 52% increase in the number of farmers markets operating during the winter months. Those 1,864 winter markets provided an extended opportunity for vendors to do business and sell their products.
- #3- Increases Access to Fresh, Seasonal Produce
- A 2012 grocery retail study showed that consumers ranked farmers markets as the most trusted food outlet to supply local foods. Consumers rated it an 8.2, on a scale of 1-10. Natural food markets and locally owned grocery stores were next highest in the rankings.
- 7,377 markets and direct-marketing farmers accepted SNAP EBT in 2017, which resulted in $22 million in SNAP spent at farmers markets. This number means fresh food access and more money for small farmers.
- #4- Supports Healthy Communities
- A study lead by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that people who shop at the farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit. As compared to only one or two social interactions per visit at the grocery store. This evidence shows that the social space at farmers markets has important public health implications.
After reading about the many benefits, it is important to take time to shop the farmers markets in your area! Shopping at the farmers market is a great way to support local food, farmers, and prosperity!
Stay tuned for more information coming later this week from Warren County Agriculture on others ideas to help celebrate national farmers market week in the Bowling Green area! Keep an eye on the Warren County Agriculture Facebook page for future videos and food demonstrations coming soon from other staff at the Extension Office! #nationalfarmersmarketweek2018 #kyproud
For those of us who love the taste and texture of summer squash have no fear! Fall harvest squash varieties are now available and the nutrients and health benefits that these vegetables provide far outweigh their summer cousins!
Kristin Hildabrand, Warren County Extension Agent for Horticulture Education, shares information with Laura Rogers on Mid-Day Live about what varieties of winter squash are available seasonally at Kentucky Farmers’ Markets. Shop local with the Bowling Green’s Original Farmers Market, Community Farmers Market Bowling Green, and SoKY Marketplace to find several varieties of winter squash. For more information about winter squash, contact the Warren County Extension Service at (270) 842-1681.