Last Thursday U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed the Proclamation designating this week as “National Farmers Market Week.” This is the 18th year the U.S. Department of Agriculture has supported National Farmers Market Week.
The goal of National Farmers Market Week is to encourage families to purchase from farmers and other vendors at local farmers markets.
Another important part of the goal is to support the small farmers and agricultural producers that use farmers markets as sales outlets.
According to USDA figures, farmers markets and other direct agricultural sales contribute $9 billion to the U.S. economy.
And a piece of that $9 billion is directly attributable to small businesses and family farms. Farmers markets provide necessary infrastructure to support their agricultural commerce.
As a business owner or farmer, if you are looking for a farmers market to sell at, the USDA maintains a National Farmers Market Directory. Consumers can also search the directory to find a local farmers market to shop at and visit.
But farmers markets do more than help farmers and producers. Farmers markets have a broad impact on communities. Farmers markets build community connections through urban and rural linkages. They also stimulate local business development and job creation.
National Farmers Market Week Celebrations
Celebrations will occur this week at farmers markets across the nation.
The week will culminate Friday August 11 with activities at the USDA’s flagship Farmers Market in Washington D.C. Special events are planned on the National Mall at 12th Street and Jefferson from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. There also will be a special Night Market from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. VIP guests include the official chef of the Washington Capitals Robert Wood, and the U.S. Army Band.
Don’t forget to participate on social media. You can also get potential shoppers excited by sharing photographs of items you are selling at farmers markets. Be sure to also add the hashtag: #FarmersMarketWeek. That hashtag is very active on Instagram and Twitter right now.