Farmers markets highlighted by national weekPublished 5:19pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) kicked off National Farmers Market Week Aug. 4, calling attention to a movement many local consumers take part in weekly – putting their money in local farmers’ pockets.
Dawn Jordan, Polk County’s interim agricultural economic development director, said there is no doubt more people want to know about local food and what “local” means.
“Historically we have seen numbers increase at the tailgate markets,” said Jordan, who has sold eggs and even laundry detergent at area markets. “The awareness for local product is definitely on the rise and the demand is most definitely on the rise.”
United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that 8,144 farmers markets are listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, up from about 5,000 in 2008. The directory is published online at farmersmarkets.usda.gov.
According to the latest Census of Agriculture, sales of food from farmers to individual consumers rose by almost 50 percent between 2002 and 2007.